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November 20, 2012

SickKids helps launch first Paediatric Pain Month in Middle East

Pain is universal, and can be particularly difficult to witness in children. Through its partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar, SickKids is bringing awareness to this issue in the Middle East.

November saw the launch of the first Paediatric Pain Awareness Month in the Gulf region. The goal is to increase awareness of the subject on the part of both health-care staff and the public, so as to enhance pain management for infants, children and adolescents.

The awareness month incorporates educational workshops to help health-care professionals in using evidence-based tools to assess and manage pain in children, as well as public educational activities in HMC hospitals.  There will also be advertisements in both the newspapers and on television broadcasts to increase public awareness on the subject. A Pain Awareness symposium will then close the month’s events.

It is hoped that the awareness month will help make it more acceptable to express pain, and therefore  influence the cultural factors that have historically led to expressions of pain being suppressed. Dr Mohammed Janahi, Chairman of Pediatrics at HMC, points out that regionally, “men and boys are discouraged from complaining if they are feeling any pain, but this is not right because we need to be aware if children are feeling pain.”

He adds, “The purpose of holding the Paediatric Pain Awareness Month is to educate our people that children should be encouraged to express their pain, and people who are caring for children should not ignore this, as it could indicate a serious condition that we can better diagnose if we are aware of the pain that the child is feeling.”