Dr. Farzana Khan is a specialist in palliative medicine and pain research in Bangladesh. She has worked closely with the Centre for Palliative Care at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), since its inception, leading efforts to develop and improve clinical palliative care services. As part of World Child Cancer’s project, Dr. Farzana works with clinicians at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital, and Dhaka Shishu (Childrens) Hospital to provide training and evaluate the effects of the project.
Working closely with Dr. Megan Doherty, Dr. Farzana focuses on training doctors, nurses and other health care professionals about palliative care. Additionally, she is very involved with leading efforts to develop palliative care services for children living in urban slum areas of Dhaka. She also meets regularly with health policymakers to guide palliative care policy and guideline development, improve public awareness of palliative care and ensure a consistent supply of palliative care medications. She brings many years of clinical, research and program management experience to her work with World Child Cancer.
Recently Dr Farzana has been working on a study, interviewing children with cancer and chronic illnesses and healthy school children along with their parents to provide an analysis of the needs and quality of life of children with life-limiting conditions.
In order to improve the care of children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses in Bangladesh, it is essential to increase and broaden the evidence base for such care. We have been working for a change with the support of WCC.
Often it is said that ‘quality of life’ research is not feasible for Bangladesh. We humbly deny that idea. It was wonderful to get to know the true feelings of five year olds through their perception of own health and ability to speak about what he/she really feel as a person. It is very powerful to conclude that we must include children in decision-making.
Dr Farzana is working hard to give children with cancer and other life-limiting conditions a voice and improve services available to them.