Centre for paediatric palliative care in Romania

The Lumina Association, in partnership with the Velux Foundation, offers “A Chance to Dignity” for children diagnosed with incurable diseases by building a centre for paediatric palliative care – the first one – in Romania.

The purpose is to improve the quality of life of children with limited life expectancy by opening the first hospice unit in Romania dedicated to paediatric palliative care.

The Hospice was built in Bacău, and will serve the north-eastern region of Romania, the poorest region in the country, and will create 30 new jobs. Through this centre, palliative care and counselling will be provide up to 428 children and their families each month.

In Romania, children diagnosed with incurable disease can not benefit from specialized palliative care services in the regular medical system, and this kind of services are virtually non-existent in paediatric wards in hospitals. Moreover, in Romania there are no statistics on the exact number of children who would need this kind of services. It is estimated, that at this time less than 6% of all patients diagnosed with an incurable disease receive palliative care.

Suffering from an incurable disease puts a huge burden on children and their families. Children become anxious and develop fear of the pain / suffering that awaits them, and are afraid of hospitals and medical staff. They can become irritable, with emotional states ranging from terror to depression and loneliness. Parents and other family members experience anger, depression, and feel guilty because they feel unable to help their child.

Besides delivering adequate and quality palliative care for children, the project will also run an information campaign in the north-eastern region for at least 100 family doctors, providing palliative care for children and providing information on palliative care to the families of children.

The total value of the project is 1,500,000 euros, 80% of the funding, 1,200,000 euros, being provided by the Velux Foundation in Denmark. The surface of 2,000 sqm is offered free of charge by the Bacau Local Council. The building is ​​about 1,050 sqm; 750 sqm ground floor and 300 sqm upstairs. The design pays attention to serve people with reduced mobility and the contains video surveillance and access control. On the outside, pedestrian walkways for separate access will be made additional to a car access, parking spaces, green spaces and a playground.