n South African Medical Journal - Paediatric palliative medicine : CME - guest editorial

Volume 104, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



In November 2013, the International Children's Palliative Care Network (ICPCN), based in South Africa, and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) released a document entitled . It reported that, even though an underestimate, >800 000 children in South Africa were in need of generalised palliative care and >300 000 in need of specialised palliative care. Moreover, it was estimated that only 5% of children requiring specialised care were being reached. This low coverage was a result of 'inadequate inclusion of children's palliative care within policy and strategy frameworks; widespread lack of knowledge and adequate understanding among health professionals; narrow target focus of services being provided already; the reluctance of health workers to prescribe and/or administer morphine despite the availability of essential palliative care pharmaceutical agents, resulting in a major barrier for access to comprehensive pain management; funding constraints and attendant poor integration of palliative care into the health system'.

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