Indus Children Cancer Hospital (ICCH) in Karachi, Pakistan is dedicated to the care of children suffering from cancer and treats children from all over Pakistan. The Paediatric Oncology Nursing Education Department (PONED) at ICCH was established in 2008 with the vision of developing human resources in Paediatric Oncology Nursing. This programme is funded by the Sanofi Espoir Foundation with the ‘My Child Matters’ grant.
PONED offers a two-week course, ‘Introduction to Paediatric Haematology Oncology Course for Registered Nurses’, that approximately 200 nurses from all over Pakistan have attended. The course consists of major topics related to paediatric haematology oncology nursing such as Leukaemia and Lymphoma, Solid Tumour, Febrile Neutropenia, Septic Shock, Radiation Therapy, Common Cytotoxic Drugs, Thalassemia, Blood Transfusion, Anaemia, Haemophilia, Nutrition and Hand Hygiene.
In July, World Child Cancer funded two nurses from the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Bangladesh to participate in the PONED training course at ICCH. Refaya Mahmuda has 7 years of experience working as a nurse and has been working on the ward at BSMMU since 2014. She plans to do higher studies in nursing and she has applied to study a Masters degree in nursing. Sharmin Akter has been working as a nurse on the ward for just over 2 years.
According to Refaya and Sharmin, they have gained much from this reputable training course including improved knowledge and up-to-date information on paediatric haematology and oncology. This has enabled the nurses to take better care of the patients on the ward. Furthermore, the nurses believe that they will now be able to act as mentors to other nurses on the ward and provide better support to the ward in general.