13 JanHosting China’s First Children’s Palliative Care Conference
In December, we were so proud to be hosting the first Children’s Palliative Care Conference in China! Such an honour, and such a special weekend. This post is picture-heavy – but we really want to try and convey what this conference was all about. There was so much wonderful sharing – sharing of great wisdom, interspersed with encouragement, tears and laughter. So many topics covered, with the focus always about making it better for the children. It was a unique and historic weekend.
The Conference was sponsored by the Lipoid Stiftung Foundation, and all speakers donated their time. This meant the conference was free to all attendees. We welcomed doctors, nurses, social workers, Chinese officials and SWI staff – over 100 delegates in all.
The delegates were welcomed by Lyn Gould, Co-founder of BCH, and Director Long of Changsha SWI.
Our wonderful line-up of speakers generously shared their experience and expertise. Dr Li Chi-Kong introduced the concept of children’s palliative care, and led discussions on pain management.
Dr Zhou Xuan from Beijing Children’s Hospital and Dr Mi Qiang, together with Zhou Fen and Tina Yuting Chen from Shanghai Children’s Hospital all shared their experiences of providing palliative care at their facilities.
Molin Lin from the Children’s Cancer Foundation talked about establishment of children’s palliative care in Hong Kong while Lyn Gould, the CEO of BCH, looked into the future of children’s palliative care in China.
The aim of the conference was to share about different models of children’s palliative care, and examine the challenges which come with providing this type of care in China. It was also a great time for people to connect, support each other and pool ideas. Our delegates were thoroughly engaged with both the formal lectures and the lively discussions.
Lots of great questions were asked, and we loved meeting so many people who are passionate in their desire to help the children.
There was much discussion about responsiveness to the cultural climate we are working in – in China there are a variety of unique challenges in provision of children’s palliative care. Analgesics are less available, superstitions around death are complex, and there is the silent issue of abandonment to confront. But our Co-founder, Lyn Gould, has seen momentum growing for the provision of specialist children’s palliative care across China and feels privileged to be part of this progress.
An exciting outcome of the conference has been an agreement to form a Children’s Palliative Care Association where members can support one another and share educational resources. Butterfly Children’s Hospice’s have also been approached to provide training for nurses in a local hospital – such a privilege to be supporting change in the local community.
Our thanks to the Lipoid Group, to Director Long of the Changsha SWI for his support, to our own Naomi for her tireless work and to every speaker and delegate. This conference was a wonderful step towards great access to palliative care for all children who need it – we hope it will be the first of many!!