On October 10, Open Society Georgia Foundation hosted the groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the construction of the first Children’s Hospice in Georgia. This was an idea born several years ago that became possible with the help of business partner Medical Corporation Evex, the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and individual donors.
The groundbreaking ceremony in the suburbs of Tbilisi gathered corporate and individual donors, journalists, families of children receiving domiciliary palliative care services and civil activists.
Keti Khutsishvili, Executive Director of Open Society Georgia Foundation, the First Lady of Georgia and General Manager of Medical Corporation Evex delivered brief speeches to acknowledge donations and to emphasize the first successful case of public-private partnership in Georgia.
On the evening of the groundbreaking day, the President of Georgia hosted the reception that brought together existing and potential donors, civil society representatives, artists who have donated their paintings, embassies, and international organizations. [View the photos of the reception on President’s Official FB page.]
Construction of the first Children’s Hospice will be completed by the end of 2016. The Children’s Hospice will provide 24/7 care on the hospice’s premises plus day center and home care services.
In 2013 the Foundation conducted the needs assessment to find out the need for pediatric palliative care in Georgia. As survey results prompt, there are more than 800 children in need of palliative care.
Media about the occasion
Construction work starts on new children’s hospice in Tbilisi, English language web publication DFWatch.net
TV reports, although in Georgian, it still gives you the sense of what was happening.
More about Palliative and Hospice Care
Palliative care for children is a care provided to children with incurable and chronic diseases. Palliative care involves the relief of symptoms caused by the disease, as well as provision of psychological and emotional support to children and their families. The need for palliative care arises when dealing with a treatment-resistant disease. In children, such diseases may be the last stages of cancer, diabetes, various neurological diseases, severe forms of cerebral palsy and other. Unlike adults, children with need of palliative care require a bit different approach.
First of all, children’s palliative care is oriented towards the family. It is better to start palliative care as early as possible, since it is more effective for a child, as well as for his/her family members. It relieves pain and emotional overload, which makes it difficult for the child and his family to deal with and fight against severe diseases.
The basic concept of Children’s Hospice is to create friendly and comfortable environment for children, where in addition to caring personnel great importance is attached to the environment, interior, name of the hospice and all those details that ensure a harmonious adjustment of a child to a new facility. “Dream House”, “World Map”, “Hunting of Stars”, “Beyond the Rainbow”, “House of Hope” – these are the names of hospices in different countries.
The main goal of the hospice is to create a family-type environment. Therefore, in many European countries, hospices are arranged in small, maximum three-story buildings. There are many successful examples of children’s hospices in the world. In this regard, countries with great experiences are the Netherlands, Germany, England, America and Romania. There are hospices, which resemble the house of one of the literary character or an imaginary universe.
In Georgia, palliative care has been developed and promoted by the Open Society Georgia Foundation since 1999. Two hospices for adults have been already established in Georgia with the support of OSGF – one at the Cancer Prevention Center and the other at the Transfiguration Monastery.