Strengthening Child Life Programs at Children’s Cancer Hospital in Karachi
Our latest project aims to strengthen the Psychosocial Oncology Department at the Children’s Cancer Hospital (CCH) in Karachi. The psychosocial oncology department at CCH was initiated in January, 2013 and plays a key role in improving the psychological, physical and spiritual quality of life for the children and their caregivers. Primarily, this department caters to supporting children and their caregivers with understanding cancer, its treatment and services, coping with emotions and managing illness and treatment, dealing with behavioral changes to minimize disease impact and manage disruptions in work, school and family life. The Department’s objective is to ensure that psychological assessment and counseling is provided to all patients and their families in order to make their cancer journey easier. It provides the following 5 services: Psycho-oncology, child life services, spiritual services, rehabilitation services and complimentary therapy.
With approximately 58 new patients admitted to CCH each month, the Psychosocial Oncology Department is under-staffed and has limited resources to meet the growing needs of the patients and their caregivers. ADP is partnering with the Rehma Fund, to fund the following:
- Material to create a child friendly environment which will include Bedside baskets, Chemo care kits, cots, pain management equipment, toy trunks and chests, magic distraction kits, sanitizers and aquariums.
- Psycho diagnostic and psycho therapeutic tools (to help the child express fear, anger and repressed emotions and to assess pre and post intervention state of the child to see if the interventions are having a positive impact)
- Salaries of the Child Life Counselor, the End of Life Counselor and the Coordinator (for the 1st year of the project).
ADP has partnered with the Rehma Fund once again to implement a Child Life Program at Children’s Cancer Hospital to improve the standard of psychological and emotional support for sick children and their families. This program will allow Childrens’ Cancer Foundation to offer Child Life Services and End of Life care. The focus will be on providing patient and family education and support as well as pain and anxiety management. In addition, the program will foster a child friendly environment through the provision of items such as chemo care kits, books and toys, cribs, arts & crafts materials as well as support a more colorful and cheerful physical environment.
The Children’s Cancer Hospital (CCH) was established in 2001 and is now a 44 bed cancer facility. CCH provides free of cost, specialized and advanced pediatric cancer care. It plays a vital role by providing a venue of hope to hundreds of families of pediatric cancer victims from within Karachi, rural Balochistan and Sindh. Since its inception, the hospital has provided free medical treatment to more than 1500 children from economically deprived families.
The impact of ADP’s and The Rehma Fund’s intervention will be measured through the use of various tools. These include:
- Evaluation/Satisfaction surveys
- Use of distress thermometers
- Wong Baker faces pain scale
- Depression, anxiety and stress measuring scales
- Feedback reports
- Observation notes
Frequently Asked Questions>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Q1 How will CCH be able to meet the salary requirements for the staff after ADP funding has run out?
A1 The salaries will be paid by the Indus Hospital.
Q2 Why is it important to fund this project?
A2 It is well-established that a patient’s environment has a great impact on his/her health and his/her attitude towards treatment. An encouraging, colourful1 and child friendly environment builds a positive attitude and removes negative perceptions associated with being in a hospital. Such an environment does not currently exist at CCH and once this project is funded, children at CCH will be provided with high quality healthcare.
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