Addressing the health of migrant workers, the Department of Health (DOH), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Commission on Filipino Overseas and Philippine Migration Health Network (PMHN) recently organised the 2nd National Symposium on Migration Health Research in Manila, Philippines. The theme “Achieving Universal Health Care for Overseas Filipinos Through Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice,” aims to identify gaps and propose future directions of migration research in the Philippines.
Dr Erwin Martinez Faller, a visiting fellow of Bournemouth University and a MHADRI (Migration Health and Development Research Initiative) member was invited to share research outputs on Aches and Pains’ of Filipino Migrant Workers in Malaysia: A Profile of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders, as one of the research work mainstreaming health in migration. A high prevalence of musculo-skeletal disorder (MSD) in the shoulder and lower back has been reported which is mainly due to physical and postural demands of their occupation on Filipino migrant workers in Malaysia . Household workers are suffering more on hip/thigh pain due to repetitive manual tasks. Implementation of ergonomics policy, education on posture and lifting techniques and physical function need to be addressed . Moreover, Dr Erwin also discussed the challenges of migrant workers in accessing healthcare in Malaysia  and compared with health conditions of migrant workers from Nepal [2-3], Bangladesh, Indonesia, and other countries .
The symposium also discussed the Philippine Migrant Health Research Agenda Plan for 2016-2022 towards achieving Universal Health Care for Overseas Filipino through evidence-informed policy and practice. The main themes focused on 1) establishing baseline Migration Health Information, 2) ensuring access of Overseas Filipinos to Migration Health Services, and 3) evaluating migration health policies, programs and services.
BU researchers Prof Edwin van Teijlingen, Dr Pramod Regmi, and Dr Nirmal Aryal are working closely with Dr Faller and other collaborators in Malaysia and Nepal on migration health related research.
- Labao HC, Faller EM and Bacayo MFD.’Aches and Pains’ of Filipino Migrant Workers in Malaysia: A Profile of Work-Related Muscuskeletal Disorders. Annals of Global Health. 2018; 84(3), pp.474-480. doi:10.29024/ aogh.2331 .
- Pocock,NS.,Suphanchaimat,R.,Chan,CK.,Faller,EM.,Harrigan,N.,Pillai,V.,Wickramage,K.Reflections on migrant and refugee health in Malaysia and the ASEAN Region. BMC Proceedings 2018,12(Suppl 4);4. doi: 10.1186/s12919-018-0100-6
- Aryal N, Regmi PR, Faller EM, van Teijlingen E, Khoon CC, Pereira A, Simkhada P. Sudden cardiac death and kidney health related problems among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia. Nepal J Epidemiol. 2019; 9(3); 788-791.
- Chan,FM.,Lau,L.X.,Faller,EM.,Pereira,AA.(2016). Household Income, Food insecurity and Nutritional status of Migrant workers in Klang Valley,Malaysia. 6th Medical and Health Sciences Symposium.
BU’s post-doctoral researcher Dr. Nirmal Aryal from FHSS has recently participated in the workshop ‘engendering research and reframing policy & public debate on migration & health’ in Kathmandu, Nepal (25-28 April). This workshop was part of the Strengthening Policy and Research Capacities (SPARC) on migration, rights and global health initiative, funded by the British Council. There were 22 participants from South Asia, South East Asia, and the UK.
This workshop was aimed at strengthening research capacities and skills and facilitating cross-cultural mentorship of early career researchers from both the UK and South/South East Asia to advance collaborative research agenda on migration, health and intersectional rights. The key speakers were Dr. Anuj Kapilashrami (Queen Mary University of London), Dr. Fatemeh Ahmadi (British Council), Dr. Ganesh Gurung (Nepal Institute of Development Studies), Dr. Jeevan Sharma (University of Edinburgh), Prof Jo Vearey (University of Witwatersrand, South Africa), Dr. Kolitha Wickramage (International Organization for Migration), Professor Emerita Patricia Jeffery (University of Edinburgh), and Dr. Radhika Chopra (University of Delhi). This workshop also provided an opportunity to discuss with participants from the UK and South/South East Asia on further collaboration on migration health research.
A policy forum on migration and health was also organized examining South Asian policyscapes with panelists from International Organization for Migration, Lancet Migration & Health Commissioners, and Ministry of Health, Nepal.
Earlier on mid-April, Dr. Aryal along with BU’s lecturer from FHSS Dr. Pramod Raj Regmi visited Malaysia for consultation meeting with migration health related stakeholders and Nepali migrant workers as Public Patient Involvement (PPI). These meetings were intended to discuss on risk factors for sudden nocturnal deaths and kidney health risk among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia.
These activities further consolidate BU’s on-going effort on migration health related research, particularly on health issues of low-skilled labour migrants in the countries of Gulf and Malaysia and their left-behinds [1-13].
- Aryal, N., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Mahat, P. (2019) Adolescents left behind by migrant workers: a call for community-based mental health interventions in Nepal. WHO South East Asia J Public Health 8 (1): 38-41.
- Adhikary P, Sheppard Z., Keen S. van Teijlingen E (2018) Health and well-being of Nepalese migrant workers abroad, Int J Migration, Health Social Care 14(1): 96-105.
- Simkhada, P.P., van Teijlingen, ER., Gurung, M., Wasti, S. (2018) A study of Health Problems of Nepalese Female Migrants Workers in the Middle-East & Malaysia, BMC Int Health Human Rights18(1):4.
- Adhikary P, Sheppard Z, Keen S, van Teijlingen E (2017) Risky work: Accidents among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia, Qatar & Saudi, Health Prospect 16(2): 3-10
- Simkhada P, Regmi, P, van Teijlingen E, Aryal N (2017) Identifying gaps in Nepalese migrant workers’ health & well-being: A review of literature J Travel Med24(4): 1-9
- Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, YKD., Mann, S. (2016) Injury & Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asian-Pacific J Public Health28(8): 703-705.
- Aryal, N., Regmi, PR., van Teijlingen, E., Dhungel, D., Ghale, G., Bhatta, GK. (2016) Knowing is not enough: Migrant workers’ spouses vulnerability to HIV SAARC J Tuberculosis, Lung Diseases HIV/AIDS 8(1):9-15.
- Joshi, S., Prescott, G., Simkhada, P., Sharma, N., Bhurtyal, Y. (2014). Knowledge and Risk Perceptions about HIV/AIDS among Nepalese Migrants in Gulf Countries: a Cross-sectional Study. Health Sci J, 8 (3) pp 350-36
- Sapkota, T., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E. (2014) Nepalese health workers’ migration to United Kingdom: A qualitative study. Health Sci J8(1):57-74.
- Joshi S, Simkhada, P, Prescott, G (2011) Health problems of Nepalese migrants working in three Gulf countries, BMC Int Health Human Rights, 2011, 11:3
- Adhikary P, Keen S, van Teijlingen E. (2011) Health Issues among Nepalese migrant workers in Middle East. Health Sci J 5: 169-75.
- van Teijlingen E, Simkhada, P, Adhikary P. (2009) Alcohol use among the Nepalese in UK. BMJ Rapid Responsewww.bmj.com/cgi/eletters/339/oct20_1/b4028#223451
- Adhikary, P., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Raja, A. (2008). Health and Lifestyle of Nepalese Migrants in the UK; BMC Int Health Human Rights, 8(6).
As we are gearing up for REF 2021, BU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework (RKEDF) has organised multiple events over the next few weeks on relevant topics such as improving the quality score of research output, impact basics, developing impact case study, and impact case study writing retreat. Having attended these events before I strongly believe that these are very helpful with lots of relevant resources.
On top of that, I would like to remind you that the HSS writing community in Brightspace has dedicated ‘Impact’ section to help BU researchers make strong impact case study. For example, many of us wonder what a 4 star impact case study looks like? In answer, the impact section now includes real impact case studies related to the Unit of Assessment (UoA) 2, 3, and 20 with 4 star ranking from the REF 2014. Links are also provided for additional high ranking case studies. In addition, guidance on impact case studies for main Panel A (UoA 2, 3) and Panel C (UoA 20), and other tips and information for writing impact case studies are also available.
Please be in touch if you require any help or want to discuss on your proposed impact case study.
Dr. Nirmal Aryal, Postdoctoral Researcher (Impact)
Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
Research impact is a relatively new concept introduced by the UK Research Council in 2009. In fewer than 10 years, it has rapidly gained momentum such that it has now become an integral part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 accounting for 25% of the total score (increased by 5% from the REF 2014). For research grant proposals in the UK and in many other countries, applicants need to clearly demonstrate their ‘impact plan’ (i.e. who is going to benefit and how?) and present ‘pathways to impact’ activities (i.e. what are you doing to increase the chance of your research making a difference?). Prof. Mark Reed on his website (www.fasttractimpact.com) suggests that reviewers of grant applications are now looking for costing of around 5% to 10% of the total budget in ‘pathways to impact’ activities.
During a one-day impact workshop on August this year Prof. Reed said that he thinks one word that best represents ‘research impact’ is ‘benefit’. Researchers use ‘public money’ which could otherwise be used in other important areas, so it shouldn’t be surprising if funders or the public ask ‘what benefit (or effect or change) is likely to come from your research?’ Thus, research should be relevant to the pressing need of the people and render benefit to the individuals or society, beyond academia.
Although impact of the research may not be predicted at the very outset and could be affected by external factors, it is now commonly agreed by the expert scientific community and research funders that well-planned impact activities with pre-determined impact goal increase the likelihood of achieving research impact. Research impact is relevant not only to established researchers but also to research students. Postgraduate research students could develop impact plans and pathways to impact activities which are feasible in a given time and available resources. Pathways to impact activities may include writing a research blog, newspaper articles, building a network with key people or organisations via social media (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn). It will help them to ‘stand out’ from the crowd and to become more competitive when looking for jobs.
Planning for research impact and thinking about ways in which to enhance the impact will help give an answer to the question ‘why should care about your work?’
These references will help to understand research impact in depth:
Reed, M.S. (2018) The Research Impact Handbook, 2nd Edition, Fast Track Impact.
Dr. Nirmal Aryal
Postdoctoral Researcher (Impact)
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences