I'm at the first Pediatric and Child Health Association of Malawi Conference being held in Lilongwe, Malawi from 22 -24 September 2017. The theme is interdisciplinary care to improve child health outcomes in Malawi.
The conference is the end result of almost of year of work by nurses, doctors, clinical officers, and other professionals involved in child care here.
Yesterday we had sessions on adolescent physical and mental health, including managing chronic diseases such as type I diabetes and HIV in teens, and communication strategies with teens, and mental health challenges in young people. Our presenters were a psychiatrist, a nurse, and a psychologist. There was lively discussion with stories shared, questions asked and answered, and a lot of consideration of the balance between the rights of the child and the perceived rights of the parents.
This morning we are discussing difficult ethical subjects - how to identify and treat children with physical and sexual abuse, the legal pathways, and how to report findings in court. Presenters included a nurse, a social worker, and a judge.
The next session is on end of life ethical dilemmas from the nurse leader in the palliative care clinic at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. When or if to withdraw treatment in severally ill children, "switching off the vent." How to facilitate palliative consults to assist families in making difficult decisions..
Next - we are given a scenario of a child being brought in after a traffic
accident in shock, actively bleeding, with a card in their pocket indicating that he is a Jehovah's witness. What do you do?