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A new systematic appraisal of paediatric palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa has been launched by King's College London and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
UNAIDS' 2008 report (reporting prevalence estimates from the year 2007) estimates that 1.8 million 0-14 year olds in sub-Saharan Africa were living with HIV infection, and that there were 15 million orphans as a result of AIDS. The burden of cancer among children in African is unknown, although it is linked to poverty and HIV infection, and the incidence of cancers in Africa is rising sharply. To date, it is unclear how palliative care services should respond to progressive life limiting illness among children in Africa if they are to be evidence-based and deliver appropriate models of effective care.
This study aims to systematically identify and appraise the evidence for paediatric palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to identify best practice and effective models of care, and to inform the development of the discipline. It is authored by a team of clinical, academic and advocacy experts from across sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.
Photograph by Nadia Bettega