Press Release: Rachel House calls for Palliative Care to be integrated into the Indonesian Health System on International Children’s Palliative Care Day

Yayasan Rumah Rachel marks International Children’s Palliative Care Day with giant “Living Wall” installation at Citos mall, calling for palliative care to be included in the National Health Policy and Universal Health Coverage.

At the official opening of The Living Wall installation at Cilandak Town Square (Citos) to mark International Children’s Palliative Care Day, children’s palliative care service provider Yayasan Rumah Rachel has respectfully called on the Government to integrate palliative care within all levels of the Indonesian health system to enable hundreds of thousands of children across the country to live free from pain and with joy and dignity.

Established in 2006, Yayasan Rumah Rachel has pioneered pediatric palliative care in Indonesia, providing pain and symptom management and emotional and social support for children living with end-stage cancer and HIV AIDS from some of the most marginalised communities in the Greater Jakarta area. It also provides palliative care training to medical professionals and community members to improve access for all.

“Our vision is that no child should ever have to live or die in pain,” said Kartika Kurniasari, CEO of Yayasan Rumah Rachel. “On International Children’s Palliative Care Day, we would like to celebrate the invaluable support palliative care has been able to provide for so many seriously ill children and their families in Jakarta. However, we recognise that our work is far from done looking at the sheer scale of the challenge confronting Indonesia. It is estimated that less than one per cent of the almost 700,000 children living with serious illnesses has access to palliative care, while the rest continue to live in pain,” said Ms Kurniasari.

“The National Health Insurance Scheme (JKN) has delivered life-changing care to millions of Indonesians since 2014. We are respectfully asking the Government to consider extending this one step further, with the inclusion of palliative care services and their related costs at both the hospital and home settings under the JKN. Our government can also support the successful implementation of palliative care by issuing the guidelines and policies for palliative care to be included as a critical component of the national health system. Together, these steps would help ensure the availability of palliative care to hundreds of thousands of seriously ill children and their families across Indonesia,” she added.

The Living Wall is a series of Giant Blackboards hosted at the atrium of Citos mall, where people are invited to write their answers to the question: what they would do if they had only one more day to live?

“The Living Wall invites Jakartans to reflect on the preciousness of every day and to recognise that there are seriously ill children who may not live to see tomorrow,” said Ms Kurniasari.

“By asking people what they would do ‘if I had one more day to live?’, we are trying to spark a conversation in the community about palliative care and the plight of many seriously ill children for whom every day could be their last.”

The Living Wall installation runs from Friday 13th – Sunday 15th October at Cilandak (Ctios) Town Square in Jakarta.