Bournemouth University, as all good universities, has an in-depth risk assessment form for staff to complete prior to their travel on university business. The form is required for all travel even it is on the train to Southampton for a research meeting. Before I left for Nepal late last year I completed the form, assessed the usual travel risk to a low-income country, including the risk food poisoning, malaria and road traffic accidents. The latter is usually the most serious risk for a healthy educated academic traveller to a low-income country.
I have been to Nepal nearly twenty times, I have in many a house of office with low ceilings and low door frames, so why did I not duck deep enough this morning in the training centre we use for running our THET project. To add to my shame it was not even the first day in this training centre as we were here all day yesterday. The good thing is (as a sociologist) I got to do some in promptu participant observation in the local A&E in the health centre in Parasi. Not that I can use it in my research as I didn’t apply for ethical approval for this unique additional part of the fieldwork.
For the record, the A&E service in Parasi is excellent, but it helps, of course, that we are doing training with the support of the District Health Office and we were only two minutes driving away from the health post. The other good thing is that it hurts a little, but no damage done! ethical approval for this part of the fieldwork. The other good thing is that it hurts a little, but no damage done!
Finally, I would like to say “Thank you!” to the ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) who pick up off the floor and my Nepali colleagues for worrying about me.
Professor Edwin van Teijlingen