Approximately 3.5 million young Nepalese are working abroad. Unskilled construction jobs including labourer, scaffolder, plumber and carpenter are the most common jobs. Every year there are more than 1000 deaths and many hundreds cases of injuries among Nepalese workers in these countries excluding India. For example, the Foreign Employment Promotion Board of Nepal recently reported that 1002 Nepalese migrant workers died in the 6 GCC countries and Malaysia in the last Nepalese calendar year, of which 357 (36%) were documented as cardiac related. However, in a quarter of deaths, the cause was unknown. Postmortem examination of migrant workers in many destination countries is not carried out and official records of the destination countries tend to record these deaths as being ‘from natural causes’. Information on underlying causes, such as heat stress on construction sites, is often not available.
The paper  which was recently published in SAGE’s Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health Journal, is jointly contributed by researchers based in New Zealand, Nepal, and FHSS’s Professor Edwin van Teijlingen and Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr Pramod Regmi, Dr Pratik Adhikary (BU’s ex PhD student) and FHSS’s visiting Professor Padam Simkhada. The authors argue that despite the contribution made by migrant workers to the economic prosperity of the host countries, they often face many major difficulties accessing effective health care and are perceived as a burden on the local health care system. Therefore, greater efforts are needed to protect the health and well-being of migrant workers from Nepal and other South-Asian nations.
BU staffs and students can freely access this paper by visiting this link.
- Aryal, N., Regmi, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, P., Adhikary, P., Bhatta, Y. and Mann, S., 2016. Injury and Mortality in Young Nepalese Migrant Workers: A Call for Public Health Action. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health. DOI: 10.1177/1010539516668628
Congratulations to the all authors for bringing up this important public health issue.
Nepal is approaching to one year of the occurrence of massive earthquakes without much progress on reconstruction and restoration of health facilities in severely affected areas, thus, priority health services such as immunisation and antenatal care are still seriously affected. Consequently, a significant proportion of Nepali population has no access public health services. Such destruction has a huge impact on health care delivery in the earthquake-affected areas because these health care service providers are the first point of access for basic health services.
This forthcoming paper ‘Priority public health interventions and research agendas in post-earthquake Nepal’  which has been accepted by South East Asia Journal of Public Health will be freely available in April this year, talks in detail around impact of the Nepal’s earthquake on population health and health system infrastructure. This is a collaborative work among researchers of universities in the UK, Nepal and New Zealand. FHSS’s Dr Pramod Regmi (lead author) along with BU Professor Edwin van Teijlingen, BU visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (Liverpool John Moores University, UK), Nirmal Aryal (University of Otago, New Zealand), Dr Puspa Raj Pant (University of the West of England, UK) and Professor Bhimsen Devekota (Tribhuvan University, Nepal) have contributed to this paper.
Through this paper, the authors suggest very important disaster-related national health research agenda coverin issues around: a) mental health, psychosocial needs, post-traumatic stress disorders; b) neonatal and child health; nutritional intake, immunisation coverage; c) cardio-pulmonary conditions; d) outbreak of communicable diseases; e) injuries/management of trauma; f) sexual and reproductive health: utilisation of antenatal care, delivery care, post-natal care, availability of family planning, sexual abuses in make-shift shelters; g) TB and HIV (service provision and adherence); h) disaster response plan and existing coping capacity and resilience among health care institutions. They have argued for a shift in health service motives to the management of long-term disabilities and disaster preparedness; so that acquired learning during this earthquake are utilised to strengthen evidence-based public health practices in the country. These experiences will also fill the loopholes in the post-disaster recovery strategies. The authors strongly recommend that Nepal should integrate community disaster reduction programs into routine public health service delivery in order to ensure sustainability. BU researchers have previously published around public health issues in post-earthquake Nepal [2, 3].
Pramod Regmi, PhD
- Regmi P, Aryal N, Pant P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P, Devkota B. Priority public health interventions and research agendas in post-earthquake Nepal. South East Asia Journal of Public Health (Article in press)
- Mahato P, Regmi P, van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P, Angell C, Sathian, B. 2015. Birthing centre infrastructure in Nepal post 2015 earthquake. Nepal J Epidemiol, 5 (4), 518-519.
- Simkhada P, van Teijlingen E, Pant P, Sathian B, Tuladhar G. 2015. Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion in Post-Earthquake Nepal. Nepal J Epidemiol, 5(2); 462-464.
Congratulations to CMMPH Professor Edwin van Teijlingen on his latest publication about why researchers do not always seek ethical permission for health research conducted in low income countries. The authors in this paper have identified and explained five possible reasons; a) approval not needed: b) not familiar with the ethics committee: c) applying the wrong committee; d) resource constraints; and e) assumption that non-clinical research are exempted, which are of course overlap and interact each other, for not applying ethical approval in low income countries. They have also provided examples of ethical approval taken from other countries than the host countries and further go on to stress that junior researchers and students should be encouraged to be familiar with research ethical approval. In their paper, they encourage journal editors and peer reviewers to ensure ethical approval being granted for manuscripts based on empirical studies. This paper was co-authored by BU visiting faculty Professor Padam Simkhada and recently published in Nepal Journal of Epidemiology. The paper is freely available through the journal’s website http://nepjol.info/index.php/NJE/issue/view/919
van Teijlingen E, Simkhada P. Failure to apply for ethical approval for health studies in low-income countries. Nepal J Epidemiol. 2015;5(3); 511-515
Pramod R Regmi, PhD
Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Science