Белорусский детский хоспис

Public law body ‘Belarusian Children’s Hospice’

The public law body ‘Belarusian Children’s Hospice’ is a non-governmental and non-commercial organization which renders medical, psychological, social and spiritual support to families raising children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Foundation date: 1994

Medical license: No 02040/4532 till 21.02.2022

Director: Anna Garchakova is Director of the hospice acting under the Charter. Since 2005 she has joined ICPCN Board members. Annually, Anna Garchakova attends world conferences and meetings of ICPCN to replicate good practice examples on children’s palliative care in Belarus. She is a Consultant on children’s palliative care in Ukraine, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and other countries.

What is palliative care?
Children’s palliative care is a separate field of medicine. As opposed to curative care aimed at treatment, philosophy of palliative care is directed to achieve the best quality of life of a very sick child and his family. Palliative care involves giving medical, psychological, social and spiritual support to families.
Whilst there is significant overlap between adult and children's palliative care, there are also significant differences. One of them is a long way to go in terms of building up an evidence base for children's palliative care. It is too complicated to predict disease trajectories as palliative care may commonly extend over many years, whilst adult palliative care has a limited time duration and it is usually provided at the end of life.

Children under the hospice care
We provide support to very sick children and young people under 24 years old. These days our service ranges from 150 to 250 families, living in the city of Minsk and within 250 km.

Forest Glade
Forest Glade was built with private capital raised almost entirely by the Belarusian Children’s Hospice in Belarus and abroad. On 16 June 2016, the Belarusian Children’s Hospice officially opened its brand new building in Opytny village Minsk region. There are ten individual bedrooms, a day center, a hotel for parents, a chapel and an education center.
Outdoor playgrounds surrounding a huge territory close to the hospice have been arranged for the patients. In the near future it is planned to plant a smart garden here. On September 17, 2016 world biathlon stars planted the Legends' Park during their visit to the new building. In September 2016 the Belarusian Children's Hospice accepted the first child.
Why is the hospice unique?
We are the first public law body to work with the Ministry of Health in a public-private partnership. We initiated the State Health Care Facility ‘Republican Clinical Center of Children’s Medical Palliative Care’ at Forest Glade which renders inpatient medical palliative care services as well as day center services. The Belarusian Children’s Hospice continues providing families with a truly holistic palliative care service.

Models of care of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice

The mission of the Belarusian Children’s Hospice has changed a little on the grounds of completion of a new hospice building Forest Glade and cooperation with the State Health Care Facility ‘Republican Clinical Center of Children’s Medical Palliative Care’. We still provide home-based care, short holiday services at the camp Stork, create more opportunities for social inclusion of very sick children and their families, run education and publication programs.
Since autumn 2016 the Republican Clinical Center of Children’s Medical Palliative Care has rendered inpatient palliative care. The specialists continue providing Respite Care, which allows parents raising children with severe disabilities to have a short break and handle everyday issues. End of Life Care and Medical programs are also implemented, including symptom control.
In cooperation with the Republican Clinical Center of Children’s Medical Palliative Care, the Belarusian Children’s Hospice provides care at the day center. This helps make use of up-to-date methods and approaches in children’s abilitation, namely physical therapy exercises, massage, hydrotherapeutic procedures, music and art therapy, psychological support to children under the hospice care and their families.
In addition to cooperation with the Republican Clinical Center of Children’s Medical Palliative Care, the Belarusian Children’s Hospice continues providing families with a truly holistic palliative care service.

Home-based palliative care in Minsk and the regions
The core care is still provided at home. Our team consists of a nurse, a doctor, if necessary, a caregiver, a psychologist, and a social worker. Our team visits not only Minsk-based families, but also those living within 250km from the capital.

Summer Camp Stork

Every summer our children and their families can holiday in the countryside about an hour’s drive outside Minsk. Everyone benefits enormously from fresh air and sunshine, has a good time at our summer camp Stork in Podleskovye village, Stolbtsy district. In the course of five shifts children are cared for by our social workers, psychologists and volunteers.
Friends’ Club

Throughout the year we conduct events aimed at socialization and adaptation of children with disabilities. Children under the hospice care can make new friends, talk to their old friends, dance, sing, and engage in crafts. These are outdoor events, such as discos, movies, theaters, museums and exhibitions, tours, as well as participation in art projects. Moreover, every week children meet in a new building Forest Glade.

Parents’ Club

The Parents’ Club helps parents raising very sick children. At such meetings parents communicate, share their problems and experience, learn new things from each other and consult psychologists. They also participate in other events.

Bereavement

Our qualified practitioners offer emotional support to families from the onset of diagnosis through and after death of their children. Sessions, which can be individual or in groups, are led by a psychologist. Every year the Day of Remembrance falls on the second Saturday of November.

NEW – Hotel for Parents

It is really important for doting parents to stay with a child. Since September a hotel for parents has been functioning at Forest Glade. Families can stay at Forest Glade with their sick children in three guest flats. This makes it possible to be with a kid from the first days of Respite care when a child gets accustomed to a new environment, to bring children to abilitation care services and not to worry about accommodation.

Volunteering

Our team of volunteers is 139 persons. 16 of these work with children at home and render inpatient services at the hospice. What are the other responsibilities of our volunteers? They look after children under hospice care at the summer camp Stork, give a hand in organizing activities, help with driver services, work as designers, cameramen, interpreters, etc. There are separate trainings and meetings for volunteers on a regular basis.

Educational activities and publication of materials

For many years the Belarusian Children’s Hospice has been cooperating with the Belarusian Medical Academy of Post-Graduate Education in the domains of capacity training related to children’s palliative care. In 2016 a training center was opened at Forest Glade. It includes a conference hall, a training room and a media center. Our specialists take capacity training courses, teach others, develop information and educational materials on children’s palliative care.

Clown Doctor

The program was initiated by Theodora Foundation (Switzerland) in 1995 at the Republican Research Center for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology. Since 1997 the program has reached out to children under the hospice care. In 2008 the Belarusian Children’s Hospice and Theodora Foundation concluded an agreement. As a result, Clown Doctor became one of our programs. The program is directed at improving psychological state of children through laughter, joy, surprise, delight and other positive emotions. Clown Doctor helps children deal with injections, suffer from pain, and to forget about your illness and just have a good time.


Our mission
Even when treatment fails, we can still help a child.
We live and work for the sake of life.

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