BU’s Professor of Reproductive Health Research, Professor Edwin Van Teijlingen, is part of a National Workshop on Mental Health in Kathmandu.
The workshop is part of a collaborative scheme involving BU, Liverpool John Moores University and Tribhuvan University in Nepal, and its aim is to educate and promote mental health issues among health professionals in Nepal.
The universities are working together on an education intervention for training Auxiliary Nurse Midwives in Nawalparasi, near the Indian border in Nepal. The project is funded under the Health Partnership Scheme (HPS) from Department for International Development (DfID) in the UK and managed by Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET).
Over two days the workshop brings together highly experienced UK volunteers and professionals to discuss education in key mental health issues during pregnancy and after birth.
Though Nepal’s pre- and post-natal care has improved with the establishment of birthing centres, improving mental health in mothers is still high on the agenda. By the end of the workshop the team hope to have the first Nepalese curriculum in place for mental health training for midwives.
BU’s Professor van Teijlingen explained: “It is important that novel mental health interventions like ours are properly evaluated, and that the people doing the evaluations have the appropriate research skills.”
“The workshop is part of this capacity building process and the audience of largely university and college lecturers will take some of their learning back with them to improve the education of health workers in Nepal.”
The first day of the workshop concentrates on building skills in recognising mental health issues in pregnant women and new mothers. The second day of the workshop concentrates on research methods for community-based projects such as this in the mental health field.
Dr Gangalal Tuladhar - former Education Minister for Nepal and a driving force behind the project - highlighted that evidence-based policy and programme is now essential in Nepal.
The national workshop forms part of an on-going programme where experienced health workers - such as midwives, GPs, mental health nurses, health visitors, and psychiatrists - from the UK are invited to volunteer for two to three weeks at a time to design and deliver some of the training.