The first palliative care hospice in Mexico for children with cancer has opened in Mexico City.
Casa Colibrí, or Hummingbird House, was officially inaugurated by the British Ambassador to Mexico, Jon Benjamin, and Mariana Hernández, the founder of the Antes de Partir (Before Departing) foundation.
Located in Gustavo A. Madero in the northeast of the city, the hospice has eight rooms decorated with different themes, a palliative care clinic, a playroom, kitchen, dining room and terrace.
Childhood cancer is a serious health problem in Mexico: it is the first cause of death by illness for children from 5-14, and kills more than 2,000 children a year, according to figures from the National Center for the Health of Children and Adolescents (Censia).
More than 20,000 children live with a terminal illness, of whom 80% do not have access to drugs for palliative care or psychological care for the final stages of their lives, the foundation said.
As a result, “16,000 minors die annually with great physical pain, symptoms associated with terminal illness and psychological suffering.” It added that only a few public health institutions in Mexico provide similar services.
Hernández said every day should be valued for a child in care. “Before Departing has a philosophy of life that invites you, whether you are a healthy person or with a disease, to live day by day in the best way. We are aware that sooner or later we will no longer be here, but until that moment arrives, we have the commitment to laugh, and to enjoy life to the fullest and it is precisely what we try to convey to both patients and their families,” she said.
Antes de Partir says it has helped 330 children and more than 2,300 parents through courses, workshops and conferences. It offers services in medical and psychological care, funerals, and helps families with food and transportation.
The foundation’s sponsors include the Gonzalo Río Arronte Foundation, Qualitas Insurance, IENOVA Foundation, Home Depot and Prevex Insurance.
Mexico News Daily