Know their rights, says Children's Institute

18 February 2011 | Story by Newsroom

Children's Institute teamTeamwork: The Children's Institute team are (from left) Lori Lake, Tendai Nhenga-Chakarisa, Paula Proudlock, Prinslean Mahery, and Lucy Jamieson.

As part of an international initiative, the UCT's Children's Institute have set their sights on educating healthcare educators on child rights and child law through a new five-day short course.

Aimed at deepening the understanding of children's rights - both national and international - and enabling professionals to apply this knowledge in their daily work, the course includes up-to-date training on the new Children's Act, in particular, consent to medical treatment and the reporting of child abuse.

The course was developed by the Children's Institute in collaboration with the Child Rights Education for Health Professionals (CRED-PRO) initiative, which is linked to the University of Victoria in Canada.

Run for the first time from 24 to 28 January the course brought together 25 nurses and doctors from health faculties across the country, including UCT, University of Stellenbosch, University of Witwatersrand and University of Fort Hare as well as representatives from the Department of Health and CRED-PRO.

"The course speaks clearly to the University's socially responsive research and teaching agenda," says Lori Lake of the Children's Institute. "Health professionals are encouraged to consider how a child rights approach can be used to transform health care services. The course also introduces the institute's research so that they can make decisions and conduct advocacy from a strong evidence base."

"This is an excellent course and is relevant to a broad range of health professionals working in the field of paediatrics and child health, including nurse practitioners, paediatricians and health managers," says Professor Michael Hendricks of UCT's Child Health Unit. "As a clinician, one comes to see the application of children's rights as a vital part of clinical practice. I would recommend this course to all those working in the area of child health."

The Children's Institute is also establishing an online network of health educators focussed on child rights, education and child law. This will be a resource for sharing teaching materials and experiences in integrating child rights and child law into curricula.

To join the network, email Denise Brown. For more information on course materials contact Lori Lake or call 021 689 5404.

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