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Children's Palliative Care in Africa$
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Justin Amery

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199567966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567966.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Children's Palliative Care in Africa

Dr Justin Amery

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that there is no discipline more rewarding, challenging or interesting that children's palliative care. Arguably, there is nothing more satisfying to a health professional than relieving a child's pain and distress. Across the world, with rates of childhood illness, bereavement, and death ever higher, this simple skill is required more than ever. And nowhere is the problem greater or the need higher than in Africa, where HIV/AIDS has made a bad situation much, much worse. Sadly, health workers are often nervous about working with dying children. Sometimes they fear the child's distress, sometimes they fear their own reactions and sometimes they fear feeling a sense of ‘failure’ for being unable to ‘cure’ the child. The good news is that, while children's palliative care can be challenging, with that challenge comes a profound satisfaction and sense of achievement.

Keywords:   palliative care, pain relief, HIV, AIDS, bereavement, Africa

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