The estimated number of children in need of palliative care at the end of life is almost 1.2 million globally, of which 24% comes from the Southeast Asian Region. There is significant pain and suffering to be addressed, yet paediatric palliative care is largely still developing in this part of the world.
Particularly in Asia, there is a scarcity of training opportunities and limited dedicated resources in this field of work. Recognising this need, the Paediatric Palliative Care Special Interest Group (PPC SIG) of the Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network (APHN) partnered with EPEC headquarters in the US to bring its leading training programme at a much subsidised rate to practitioners here.
This inaugural train-the-trainers programme in Paediatric Palliative Care was jointly organised by APHN and Hospis Malaysia. It consists of 2 components – an online curriculum, which participants first have to complete beforehand, followed by an in-person training workshop. The latter was held from 18 – 19 May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The programme was originally intended for only 40 participants but in just 2 weeks after application opened, more than 70 registrations were received! Due to overwhelming response, registrations closed much earlier than anticipated. Such massive latent demand for PPC related education indeed!
After much deliberation with programme leads, the PPC SIG released more slots for participation. Eventually, 64 professionals from 11 different countries in the Asia Pacific were enrolled. Over the 2 day workshop, participants soaked in knowledge on how to teach and facilitate classes, discussed clinical challenges with faculty, and exchanged experience with each other. They practically shared stories, laughed and ate together like long lost friends.
An APHN networking group was also created for the class of 2018. Even after the workshop, participants can continue to participate in discussions with the faculty and fellow classmates. One participant even commented, “Now I know where to ask for help if I face any difficulty when I am working at the hospital, even in the middle of the night.” Indeed, no one will ever feel alone or without any support now, even if they are the only paediatric palliative care practitioner in their service!
This workshop would not have happened without the support of supporting partners and advocates. We will like to especially thank our faculty members, Dr Ross Drake (New Zealand), Ms Stacy Remke (New Zealand), Dr Mary Ann Muckaden (India), Ms Jody Chrastek (USA), Ms Karyn Bycroft (USA) and Ms Lee-Anne Pedersen (Australia) for delivering such a wonderful experience in KL.
We thank the Hong Kong Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation Limited for their kind donation to APHN and Hilton Kuala Lumpur for providing us special rates for faculty accommodation.
If you will like to find out more about the next APHN-EPEC Paediatric workshop, sign up to join our mailing list at https://aphn.us8.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a5b9404e71f8cf038c7cc5f0f&id=9ce5eaa9b0.
If your organisation will like to support us in future runs of this workshop, please write to the APHN Secretariat at [email protected] or call +65 6235 5166 to find out more!
 World Health Organization. (2014). Global atlas of palliative care at the end of life. World Wide Palliative Care Alliance & World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/nmh/Global_Atlas_of_Palliative_Care.pdf