The meeting in Rome

On Friday 27 May 2022 a committed group of children’s palliative care practitioners from around the world held a special meeting, organised by PallCHASE, as part of the 5th Maruzza International Paediatric Palliative Care Congress with the purpose of learning more about the children’s pallaitive care needs of colleagues in Ukraine and finding ways to help and support them.

At this meeting, four paediatric palliative care clinicians working in Ukraine and a paediatrician from St Jude who has been working with SAFERUkraine provided insight into the difficulties they were experiencing.  They spoke of how the war, started by the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday 24 February 2022, had impacted on children with palliative care needs, their families and healthcare providers.

Moved and appalled by what they’d heard, those present at this meeting were keen to show their support for their colleagues who, despite the mounting challenges they faced, were continuing to provide what care they could for these children and families. A first draft of the declaration found below was read out and circulated to individuals for comment and editing and later compiled into a final version.

The Rome Declaration is a Call to Action both in the present and into the future. It calls for long-term commitment beyond words.

Below is the final version of  The Rome Declaration of Palliative Care for Children in Ukraine. Should you wish to show your support for our colleagues in Ukraine, please sign this declaration, either as an individual, or as a representative of your institution or organization.

We believe that the relief of serious health-related suffering is the right of every child.

As members of the global children’s palliative care (CPC) community we are committed to working together for all children with serious health conditions to have access to quality palliative care provided by knowledgeable and skilled multi-disciplinary teams, including in humanitarian settings.

We are appalled by the devastating loss of life, displacement, and the cruel impact of war on patients, personnel, facilities and health resources in Ukraine.

We recognize that children’s palliative care is not acknowledged as a priority by health services in humanitarian crises. Therefore, we take responsibility for doing all we can to help relieve the suffering of those affected and vulnerable children and to support our colleagues who care for them.

Collaborating as organizations and individuals we are a rich resource of knowledge and skills. Guided by our colleagues inside Ukraine we are committed to do all we can to:

  • relieve the suffering of children in Ukraine needing palliative care and their families
  • promote CPC as a child’s right
  • collaborate with colleagues inside Ukraine to support existing services
  • advocate for policy makers and donors to allocate resources to CPC during the crisis and when rebuilding services
  • advocate for adequate palliative medicine supplies, including opioids
  • promote spiritual and psycho-social support for children, their families and our colleagues who care for them
  • assess the effectiveness of our interventions to improve the quality of support

To our colleagues in Ukraine, you are not alone.
We stand with you.
We will not forget you.

27 May 2022

Download a printable copy of the declaration

Rome Declaration of Pallaitive Care for Children in Ukraine

Sign the Declaration

Sign as an individual


    Sign as a representative of an institution or organization