A few days I posted a short report of our first session as part of the THET-funded project ‘Mental Health Training for Community-based Maternity Providers in Nepal’, see this previous post here. Yesterday we completed the final third day training of the first session of this BU-led project. Over three days we had 70 ANMs (Auxiliary Nurse Midwives) in attendance, which we think is (nearly) all such staff based in all birthing centres in the district (=province). The three days were the same, i.e. each session was repeated twice so each day one third of the ANMs could attend, and two-third could be at work in the birthing centre ensuring women could deliver safely.
As part of this project we send UK volunteers (health and/or education) experts to Nepal to offer high quality training in areas where it is most needed. Further detail on this BU-led THET project can be found in our scientific paper Mental health issues in pregnant women in Nepal published in the Nepal Journal of Epidemiology available through Open Access. Mental illness is still very much a taboo topic in Nepal as it has often a serious stigma attached to it. Moreover, the relatively short training of ANMs is often fairly basic and the national curriculum does not cover mental health issues in any detail. This joint project between Bournemouth University, Liverpool John Mooores University, Tribhuvan University and the local charity Green Tata Nepal addresses issues about mental health in general and in pregnant women and new mothers in particular. Tribhuvan University is the oldest university in Nepal and one of the ten largest universities in the world (based on student numbers). The project is multi-disciplinary involving midwives, (mental health) nurses, and doctors as well as global health researchers, educationalists and sociologists.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen