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Monday 10 February 2014 00:46
One of the conference's goals is to drastically improve the physical, emotional, social and spiritual care available to children with life shortening illnesses.(Richard Newton)
The first ever International Children's Palliative Care conference, being held in Mumbai, India was officially opened with the emphasis that every child's life, no matter how short, is valued and cherished.
Delegates from other 30 countries are attending the inaugural gathering of doctors, nurses, care givers and social workers. One of the conference goals is to drastically improve the physical, emotional, social and spiritual care available to children with life shortening illnesses.
It's estimated that less than 5% of children in developing countries who need palliative care have access to it.
Opening the conference, chairperson and executive director of the International Children's palliative care network, Joan Marston says, "There was a moral and ethical obligation for countries with resources to assist those without.” She added “that as a collective much more could be done to reduce the suffering of children."
Advocacy officer for the ICPCN, Busi Nkosi, addressed the conference on the rights of children to better health care. "A child, no matter how young or sick they may be, still have the right to proper care."
She says that "it was the responsibility of governments worldwide to integrate palliative care into the mainstream health service and ensure that money was made available".
The conference ends on Wednesday.