THE SOCIAL PROBLEM
Psychosocial services been a challenge to provide, especially for indigent patients in the public health system in the Philippines. Further, children suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer can be traumatized by painful medical treatments and possible insensitive behavior of the hospital staff. There is an absence of support for both the children and their families to cope with these anxieties. Parents remain uninformed about their children’s illnesses because there is a lack of sufficient hospital personnel to thoroughly explain the medical conditions. Therefore, many parents continue to attribute their children’s sickness to superstitious beliefs. Parents also commonly misunderstand the doctor’s recommendations in medical terminology, which results in non-compliance of medical procedures.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
Started by Fatima Garica-Lorenzo, Kythe Foundation is bridging the lack of psychosocial support
in the healthcare system in the Philippines. Fatima is creating a space and added value for the previously underdeveloped role of Child Life Specialists. Kythe Foundation’s vision is to change the way hospitals think about psychological and social support: from a supplemental service into an integrated part of the healthcare field in the
Philippines. Kythe Child Life Coordinators work towards becoming integrated into the ward and serve as
members of the hospital staff, abiding by the same standards and policies as regular employees, and are respected as part of the ecosystem.
Kythe Foundation’s Child Life Specialists provide indigent pediatric patients and their families counseling and emotional support, from the point of discovery up to the very end of the child’s illness.
To date, Kythe Foundation has reached over 8,000 patients and their families nationwide. As President of the Philippine Alliance of Patients’ Organisations (PAPO), Fatima is now gathering support from patient advocacy groups. In partnership with the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Fatima has been participating in road shows for PhilHealth, the national health insurance provider, to support disabled patients and give them access to healthcare.
Upon our visit we realized that the Child Life Coordinators need to update their skills to provide quality child life services.
In mutual agreement,VKF with Kythe Foundation began to support the Kythe Child Life Coordinator’s continuing education. Kythe Foundation called this new endeavor the Kythe Child Life Advocacy Program (KCLAP).
Website : http://kythe.org/