Paedspal is a registered Not For Profit Company based in Cape Town, South Africa.
It is a public-private partnership programme that provides care and support for children living with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses in the Western Cape.
The word ‘palliative’ comes from the Latin ‘pallium’ meaning a cloak and describes one of the primary palliative care interventions which is to “cloak” symptoms with the primary aim of providing comfort. A key palliative care belief is that there is never “nothing that can be done”. Even if a patient has a condition that is incurable, there is plenty that can be done to relieve suffering and to support the patient and family in their journey.
Paedspal’s multi-disciplinary team provides services to children and their families both in the public and private sectors. The team provides a bedside consultative service to hospitalised children and an out-patient clinic service to ambulant children and their families. A future goal of the NGO is to develop a paediatric palliative care in-patient unit (PIPU) that will provide 24/7 paediatric palliative care and hospice services.
Where does the name Paedspal come from?
The name is a play on words with the ‘pal’ being a shortening of the word ‘palliative’ as well as a colloquial word for ‘friend’. A ‘Pal’ is a friend or a buddy and the word originates from the Romany word for brother or comrade. Children with life limiting illnesses and their families need genuine friends. For many the journey is hard with lots of medical interventions, missed school days and a family life that may not be “normal”.