International organisations partner to improve palliative care for children in Ghana 

By Albert Allotey 

Accra, Feb. 22, GNA – The International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) and the World Child Cancer (WCC) will lead a collaborative effort towards the development and improvement of children’s palliative care (CPC) in Ghana.  

With a grant from THET’s Global Health Workforce Programme, they would undertake the project dubbed #ChilPalCareGhana. 

The project was based on a needs assessment carried out in 2023, which identified the lack of  

education and training for the Ghanaian health and social care workforce as one of the key barriers blocking children’s palliative care development. 

It is aimed at addressing gaps in CPC and building vital skills and knowledge capacity among healthcare professionals so that better care can be provided to the estimated 152,000 children living in Ghana with a condition that will shorten their lives. 

The project was launched on February 21, 2024, at the Ministry of Health and would be rolled out over a 12-month period from 2024 to January 2025. 

This was in a release jointly issued by the ICPCN and WCC and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday. 

The release said the project has four key objectives organising monthly interactive webinars that would lead to covering different aspects of children’s palliative care and involving CPC experts from around the world, with case studies and discussion. 

It would hold multi-professional training in CPC across Ghana – and will provide training to 120 health professionals in four regions of Ghana that consists of; face-to-face training, mentorship, virtual training, and a final face-to-face conference.  

It would provide clinical placements for trainees from each of the four training courses with CPC professionals at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. Others would undertake a two-week clinical placement in the UK facilitated by the Association for Paediatric Palliative Medicine.  

The rest are specialist training who would work with professional organizations (Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the Ghana College of Pharmacists) to review their curricula to ensure that CPC training is included and support six trainees to undertake these revised courses.  

In their contributions, Julia Downing, Chief Executive at ICPCN said: “We are excited to be able to continue to support the development of children’s palliative care in Ghana.  

“This project is a natural progression from the needs assessment that we undertook with our 

partners in Ghana last year and an important step forward for children’s palliative care in Ghana.  

“We have seen the commitment of our partners in Ghana to implement children’s palliative care including the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Health, Korle-Bu and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospitals, World Child Cancer and all the other partners involved in this project.” 

Mr Ayire Adongo, Regional Coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa, WCC added that: “We are extremely excited about winning this grant. It will help us realize our vision of improving the quality of life of children with cancer through building the capacities of healthcare professionals in children’s palliative care in Ghana and the sub-region.  

“Winning this project will help us to implement the recommendations from the situational analysis and needs assessment on children’s palliative care in Ghana which was carried out in Ghana by ICPCN and its collaborators.”