Paedspal was established in 2015 in response to the desperate need for palliative care services for critically ill children. Paedspal’s mission is to ensure the best quality of life for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses. Central to this is the recognition that care needs to be holistic, responding to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the child and family.
According to UNICEF, over 800 000 South African children are in need of palliative care yet less than 5% are receiving it. Unfortunately, palliative care is not a government funded medical service and so the bulk of services are provided by the NGO sector. Most of these services are for adults with a handful of NGOs providing palliative care reprieve to children.
To this end, Paedspal has rapidly grown to respond to an urgent need. On average Paedspal provides over 3,000 palliative care consultations to children and their families in Cape Town. With its staff of 16, Paedspal is the largest palliative care centre in the country dedicated to children.
PAEDSPAL PROGRAMMES AND SERVICES
Hospital Consultation Service: Paedspal provides palliative care service to children in need and by referral from staff at Red Cross Children’s hospital. Groote Schuur Hospital and Mowbray Maternity Hospital.
Out-patient Clinic: Paedspal hosts an Outpatient Clinic twice a week based at its offices in Rondebosch.
Psychosocial Services: Psychosocial supprt is central to palliative care. Paedspal employs a team of 5 therapists including Art, Music and Aromatherapist, Social Worker and Family Counsellor.
Outreach: Paedspal provides palliative care at secondary medical institutions around Cape Town, selected children’s homes as well as home-based visits.
Policy and Research: Policy development and research are key elements needed to ensure that palliative care services are accessible to all in need. Paedspal, in partnership with other palliative care providers, continue to engage with key policy stakeholders in this regard.
Education and Training: Education and training are key components of Paedspal’s work to address the skills shortage of palliative expertise in the country and to ensure that palliative care is integrated within the public and private health care system.
We need your help to ensure the best possible quality of life for these children, to provide optimal support for their families, and to work alongside their primary care teams and their community.
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