Published on: April 24, 2024

Children’s palliative care provides comfort and compassion during the challenging journey of childhood illness. It offers solace, dignity and support to the young patients as well as their families. Children’s palliative care plays a crucial role in improving the quality of life for children with life-limiting conditions and promoting empathy and support in society.

Pallium India hosted a Children’s medical camp on 23rd April 2024 in VMJ convention centre, in association with VMJ UP School, Thiruvananthapuram.

VMJ UPS Vallakadavu was established in 1985. Over the years they always valued and supported the community, especially the children and their families. Pallium India has been doing Children’s palliative care project since 2011, and now the Children’s team identified the need of creating awareness among the community about Children’s palliative care and the service Pallium India is offering to society.

As a part of community awareness campaign, this was the second medical camp, and was attended by more than 36 children and their parents.

Dr. Sangeetha Suresh (Doctor-in-charge, Pediatrics), delivered the welcome address. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. Sunil Kumar (Additional Director, TIPS), Dr. Kusumakumari (Retired Paediatric oncologist, RCC, Trivandrum), Dr. Veena Anand (Pediatrician, SAT medical college Trivandrum),

Mr. A. Saifudeen (Manager, VMJ group of Institutions and Member of Kerala State Minority Commission) and Mrs. Noorjahan H (Headmistress, VMJ UPS Vallakadavu).

The inaugural function was followed by a session on Community Awareness by Dr Sunil Kumar, regarding Children’s palliative care. The interactive session ensured active engagement and insights were shared through case studies and real-life scenarios which helped the audience to comprehend more on palliative care.

After the session, the medical camp started, including checkups for children of different age groups, consultation with experienced Pediatrician and Palliative care physicians. In addition to that, the camp also provided health education sessions for parents.

After the session by Dr. Sunil Kumar, many parents gave feedback saying that, they had many myths about palliative care in general and Children’s palliative care. All their doubts were cleared and they came to know about the services which we provide. These feedback indicates the success of the medical camp and it helps networking through mouth publicity among community upto the grass root level. After the medical camp, we identified needy patients and referred to Children’s palliative care department for further detailed assessment.

The medical camp was organised by the initiative of Mrs. Noorjahan H, Dr. Sangeetha Suresh, Sr. Shanifa (Nurse in charge, Paediatrics), Mrs. Saleena Beevi (Volunteer, Pallium India), Mr. Sibin Satheesh (Pediatric social officer) and supported by Dr. Arjun Devarajan (Senior Palliative Care Physician), Dr. Revathy (Palliative Care Physician), Ms. Anusree, Mr. Sharath, Mr. Vishnu, Mr. Vibin, Sr. Seena, Sr. Aswathi, Sr. Keerthi and the MSW interns Mr. Nabeel, Ms. Maria, Ms. Blesit, Ms. Christeena and Ms. Shobitha.

Our Children’s palliative care medical camp has shown how compassionate care impacts communities. By working together and advocating, we’ve made strides in improving the lives of children with life-limiting illnesses. Reflecting on what we’ve learned and the bonds we’ve formed, it’s clear that promoting Children’s palliative care isn’t just a job—it’s the right thing to do. This report should spark more conversations and actions to ensure every child gets the care they need.

Let’s keep working together to bring hope, ease suffering, and show that every life is valuable.

(Prepared by Mr. Sibin Satheesh, Pediatric social officer, Pallium India.)

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