There are several services offered through the Pediatric Oncology & Hematology program. We strive to provide services targeting patients, survivors as well as caregivers.
Through the leadership of Dr. Kamusisi Chinyundo, a Pediatric Palliative Care program has been established. During this reporting period, several palliative care clinics and home visits have been conducted with patients and caregivers. In January 2020, the Global HOPE Botswana Pediatric Palliative Care team conducted a palliative outreach visit to patients’ homes in Good Hope Sub District. They visited a 14-year- old female who is diagnosed with inoperable vertebral osteosarcoma complicated by paraplegia and on palliative care. The outreach visit, in conjunction with the Good Hope Hospital outreach team, involved assessing and addressing physical needs and training the mother to provide further care at home. The Global HOPE Botswana Pediatric Palliative Care team extensively counseled a family of a child with a terminal brain tumor and helped facilitate the transfer of the child to a facility near the home village per the family’s wishes. This is a pilot program to test the feasibility and needs of a nationwide mobile palliative care program to meet patients’ needs in their homes.
The Global HOPE Botswana program launched a Health Care Worker Training in Oct. 2019. This training is targeted to medical officers, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and other related health professionals. The training covers topics on the epidemiology of childhood cancer and the warning signs to look for, using a tool developed in 2014 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Below is a list of health facilities visited:
• Thamaga Primary Hospital
• Kanye SDA Hospital
• Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital
• Bamalete Lutheran Hospital
• Good Hope Hospital
• Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital, the second-largest hospital in the country
• Palapye Primary Hospital
• Tutume Primary Hospital
• Masunga Primary Hospital Each outreach training was attended by 20-60 hospital workers, a mix of pharmacists, physiotherapists, doctors, nurses, and more. Global HOPE Botswana received positive feedback and several workers asked if the team can come back again soon.
We look forward to seeing if these training sessions improve early referral of children with suspected cancer or blood disorders.