Today, after months of delay, UK volunteers managed to deliver the first THET-funded training as part of the BU-led project ‘Mental Health Training for Community-based Maternity Providers in Nepal’. The first serious delays occurred due to the devastating earthquake in April 2015 when we are just about to start our project. Then more delays happened due to the political unrest in the country after the signing of the new Constitution of Nepal in September 2015. Whilst there are still plenty of people living in make-shift shelters today in some of the more remote districts affected by the earthquake and there is still a serious shortage of petrol and cooking gas due to politically-driven blockages at the Indian-Nepali border, the situation is now safe enough to start bringing UK volunteers to Nepal.
Today’s first training was delivered in Kathmandu to our friends and colleagues at MIDSON, the Midwifery Society of Nepal (the equivalent of the Royal College of Midwives in the UK). Joining Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen to deliver the first training session to Nepali midwives is Dr. Bibha Simkhada from Liverpool John Moores University. Bibha is a nurse in Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust as well as BU Visiting Faculty. The audience at MIDSON was very helpful in giving feedback on the planned training in the southern district of Nawalparasi (starting Sunday 10th January). The agreement is to run a one-day training session for ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives), and run this three day in a row for one-third of all the birthing centre staff from across the district. This means that the government birthing centres can stay open with the other two-thirds on the staff on any one day. Further detail on this BU-led THET project can be found in our recent academic article, which is available through Open Access: click here.
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen