Today we decided on the name of our interdisciplinary research project on ‘Drowning Prevention for newly mobile infants under two’s in Bangladesh’. We were looking for one or two words in Bangla (or Bengali) that also sounded good in English and which was not already used for another research project in Bangladesh. A team from BU and CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh) using Human-Centred Design (HCD) tools came up with the name. The wider research team, after some debate and and checking for its current use in the research field, settled for the word Sonamoni (golden pearl).
BU is leading on a new interdisciplinary study of nearly £1.7 million funded by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Sonamoni aims to reduce the deaths of newly-mobile toddlers from drowning in rural Bangladesh. This multidisciplinary project is a collaboration of BU’s Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), BU’s Department in Accounting, Finance & Economics and Department of Design & Engineering, and external partners, namely the University of the West of England, the University of Southampton, the Poole-based Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the already mentioned CIPRB.
The Sonamoni project has been made possible thanks to a grant from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) through their Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation programme. For more information, visit the NIHR website.
In Bangladesh, drowning is the leading cause of death in children between one and two years old. This low-income country has one of the highest rates of drowning, especially among children in the world. This four-year project will be working with communities to apply human-centred design techniques in Bangladesh. Together they will identify and prioritise potential solutions, develop prototype interventions, and assess the acceptability and usability of proposed interventions.
Edwin van Teijlingen & Mavis Bengtsson
Photo: RNLI /Kate Eardley
Late in 2022 we started a new interdisciplinary study funded by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The research aims to reduce the deaths of newly-mobile toddlers from drowning in rural Bangladesh. This project is being co-ordinated by Bournemouth University in collaboration with the University of the West of England, Bristol, the University of Southampton, the Poole-based Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB).
In Bangladesh, drowning is the leading cause of death in children between one and two years old. This low-income country has one of the highest rates of drowning, especially among children in the world. The risk of drowning in rural areas is twice that in cities, because there are significant numbers of ponds and ditches, creating natural drowning hazards for very young children. CIPRB has implemented several effective drowning prevention solutions focused on children over the past 15 years, including a successful daycare model to keep young children safely away from water. However, enrollment and attendance rates for children under two years (those at the highest risk of accidental drowning) have been low.
The team will be working with communities to apply human-centred design techniques in Bangladesh. Together they will identify and prioritise potential solutions, develop prototype interventions, and assess the acceptability and usability of proposed interventions.
This research is an excellent example of BU’s FUSION. BU endeavours to bring together Research, Education and Practice to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. FUSION is central to our Bangladesh project, the Research is focusing on social sciences and public health, the Education is around health education of people in rural communities as well as training of the research team members, whilst Practice will be the outcome of the human-centred design approach, when we test the best interventions.
The £1.6m project has been made possible thanks to a grant from the NIHR through their Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation programme. For more information, visit the NIHR website. NIHR uses aid from the UK government to support global health research.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
Working in South Asia over the past two decades I have learnt to expect emails asking for help. Often from people I have met perhaps just once or twice or who are my friends on Facebook or LinkedIn. I tried to help if I can, but often I can’t. My friends and colleagues in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India have a slightly different idea of how UK officialdom works. Perhaps they have a better and more realistic idea than I have, but that’s a different blog one day.
This week I wrote a reference for an employee of Green Tara Nepal, a charity we have been collaborating with for decades. This is someone I have had general dealing with, not someone who work on one of our projects. I have had interesting research discussions with her in Kathmandu, so I was happy to write her a reference. This morning I received a request via Facebook from someone from Nepal whom I have been advising on a number of job applications in Australia and the UK. On my advice, he had recently applied to a post at a university in London. Yesterday I asked me what to do as he had not heard from them. I advised him to email HR at that university and ask for an update. This morning his question was: “Can you ask them on my behalf, Sir”. I kindly replied: “Sorry, not my university”, not going into confidentiality issues, the data protection act, etc.
What I find fascinating as a sociologist is the ‘traditional society’ thinking behind these questions, which must be something along the lines of: “Edwin is in a senior position, he must be powerful, hence, he has influence in high places. I know him so he can help me achieve my goals.” The interesting other side of the coin is, of course, that if I do something, speak to someone on their behalf, write a reference or recommendation, etc. and the person is successful this success is (partly) attributed to me. And when I say that that’s not the way decision-making works in the UK, it is likely to be regarded as false modesty.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
The curious start of an academic collaboration
Two days ago a group of academic from Bournemouth University (BU) submitted a bid for a research grant to the NIHR (National Institute for Health Research) to help prevent the drowning of toddlers in Bangladesh. The proposed research is a collaboration with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), and an other UK university, the University of the West of England (UWE) and a research organisation called CIPRB (Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh). Nothing particularly out of the ordinary there. BU academics submit collaborative bid for research grants all the time, with colleagues at other universities, with large charities (like the RNLI), and with research institutes across the globe. What I find intriguing is the round-about way this particular collaboration came about within BU.
The NIHR called for research proposals in reply to its Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme. The RNLI approached CIPRB, an expert in accident prevention from UWE and BU experts in health economics and human-centred design to discuss putting in an intention to bid. The RNLI has a history of working with both CIPRB in Bangladesh on drowning prevention and with BU in various design project (including improved ball bearings for launching lifeboats). The team decided that it needed a sociologist to help study the social and cultural barriers to the introduction of interventions to prevent drowning in very young toddlers (12-14 months). My name was mentioned by our UWE colleague whom I know from her work in Nepal. For example, she and I had spoken at the same trauma conference in Nepal and the lead researcher on her most recent project is one of my former students.
Thus, I was introduced to my BU colleagues in different departments (and faculties) by an outsider from a university miles away. I think it is also interesting that after twelve years at BU I am introduced to fellow researchers at the RNLI, especially since I only need to step out of my house and walk less than five minutes to see the RNLI headquarters in Poole.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
CMMPH (Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health)
In February, we are sharing stories about BU’s research funded from the Global Challenges Research Fund. This funding enables BU academics to undertake cutting-edge research in partnership with organisations in developing countries. These projects help to build collaborations with researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, ensuring that the outcomes of the research have tangible outcomes and impacts for people in those countries. This research was able to continue, despite the travel restrictions due to the pandemic, predominantly by redesigning the projects to reduce BU staff travel and increase local delivery in the beneficiary countries. This change in delivery was beneficial to the research as it encouraged greater partnership working, ensured projects were led by in-country organisations, and will help in the long-term to ensure projects are sustainable after GCRF funding ends.
According to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), about 68.5 million people worldwide are refugees or forcibly displaced. The crisis affects both development and developing countries. The refugee camps have become features of a significant number of developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In Bangladesh, Dr Karen Thompson, Dr Mehdi Chowdhury and Dr Tilak Ginige are investigating the project management of the Rohingya refugee crisis. Close to one million Rohingya refugees have sought safety from persecution in Bangladesh. Kutupalang in the Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, is the world’s largest refugee camp. Here, there are alarming living conditions, devastating environmental impacts caused by human occupation and staggering economic costs involved in camp management. The research project aims to resolve the issue of suboptimal project outcomes and inefficient project delivery that frequently occurs in displacement crises. The research process involved the analysis of secondary camp activity data, interviewing and surveying the project managers of various NGOs, writing research papers, conference presentation, research seminars presentation, meetings with the Government and NGO personnel.
The project allowed for profiling of the management of the Rohingya refugee crisis and generating an understanding of formal and informal coordination processes of the humanitarian agencies involved. The research identified the need to involve refugees as part of the project development process and the need for formal communication systems to reduce the burden on project managers. Both issues have the impact of poor project outcomes, resulting in wasted financial and human resources. The guidance documents and trained personnel that have been produced will aid future management of the refugee crisis, saving funds and helping refugees. These findings have been communicated through seminars, conferences and research papers. One of the important themes of UN Global Compact on Migration (https://www.iom.int/global-compact-migration) is the importance of localization of management in development activities. The research has also identified that to date, Bangladeshi organizations are only involved in simple coordination tasks and therefore more opportunity must be provided for them to be involved in complex project management activities.
The research and activities received support from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief and Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Government of Bangladesh. Both UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and the International Organization for Migration, who are jointly looking after the humanitarian activities through formation of the Inter Sector Coordination Group, have cooperated in the research. Specifically, the project team conducted interviews and surveys of humanitarian project managers in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp; without their support, this would have been impossible. North South University, Bangladesh supported conducting the interviews and surveys in Cox’s Bazar. This partnership has created a two-way impact by increasing the capacity of both Bournemouth University (in conducting research in an LDC context) and North South University (social network analysis, trained project advisors to assist NGOs).
The workshop for dissemination of the findings and exchanges that was planned to take place in the academic year 2019-20 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there are plans to deliver an online event in 2020-21.
Read more about the research project here: https://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/research-action/responsible-project-management
BU research, Featured academics, Global engagement, innovation, international, Knowledge Transfer, Publishing, Research Integritiy, Research Training, Uncategorized, writing Edwin van Teijlingen
Today saw the publication of a new paper ‘Importance of involving patients and public in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health research in South Asia’ co-authored by the BU Public Involvement in Education and Research (PIER) Partnership . This paper is co-written with Dr. Bibha Simkhada, until recently Lecturer in Nursing in N4LTH Centre (Nursing for Long-Term Health) and now Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Huddersfield, Dr. Aliya Naheed at icddr,b in Bangladesh, Angela Warren based at PIER, Dr. Sue Green (Principal Academic) and Prof. Edwin van Teilingen. The paper appears in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, which is published by Cambridge University Press.
The authors highlights that Patient and Public Involvement/Engagement (PPI/E) in public health research and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in has significantly increased over past decade in countries such as the UK. PPI/E helps improve health research and hence benefits patients and service users. For example, organisations like BU’s PIER bring a unique patients and (potential) users’ perspective of these services, which enables FHSS to enhance the education the future workforce in health and social care as well as research in this area.
However, PPI/E is still very new concept in many LMICs (Low- and Middle-Income Countries). This paper considers the importance of PPI in public health research and HTA in the development and implementation of technology in the health sector in South Asia. Currently, in this region, health technology is frequently adopted from HICs without local research and HTA. It also discusses the importance of local co-creation of technology to reflect the needs of users within a culturally appropriate setting. It is important for LMIC-based researchers to understand the potential of PPI/E and how it can contribute to it to improve health care and research, especially perhaps in the era of COVID-19.
- Simkhada, B., van Teijlingen, E., Naheed, A., Warren A., Green, S. (2020) Importance of involving patients and public in Health Technology Assessment (HTA) and health research in South Asia. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care [Online First 5 November, pp. 1-3].
BU research, Doctoral College, Featured academics, Global engagement, international, open access, PG research, Publishing, Research Centres, Research news, student research, Uncategorized, writing Edwin van Teijlingen
Congratulation to FHSS PhD student Sulochana Dhakal Rai who just published her latest article in the Journal of Asian Midwives. The paper ‘Caesarean Section rates in South Asian cities: Can midwifery help stem the rise?‘  is highly topical in this Year of the Nurse and Midwife (see Bournemouth University’s earlier event on YouTube).
Caesarean section (CS) is a life-saving surgical intervention for delivering a baby when complications arise in childbirth. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests a rate of CS from 10% to 15%. However, CS rates increased steadily in recent decades and have almost doubled from 12.1% in 2000 to 21.1% in 2015. Therefore, this has become a global public health problem. This scoping review gives an analysis of the rising CS use in four South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The authors conclude that the increasing CS rates in South Asian cities, particularly in specific groups of women, present a challenge to hospital staff and managers and policy-makers. The challenge is to avoid ‘Too Much Too Soon’ in otherwise healthy urban women and avoid ‘Too Little Too Late’ in women living in remote and rural area and in poor urban women.
This paper is co-authored by Dr. Juliet Wood and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), Dr. Pramod Regmi Lecturer in International Health in the Department of Nursing Science, Dr. Amudha Poobalan at the University of Aberdeen, Dr. Malin Bogren at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, Prof. Rafat Jan at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan and Dr. Ganesh Dangal at Kathmandu Model Hospital in Nepal and Dr.Keshar Bahadur Dhakal based at Karnali Academy of Health Science also in Nepal. This is Sulochana’s second PhD paper, her first paper was published last year .
- Dhakal Rai, S, Poobalan, A, Jan, R, Bogren, M, Wood, J, Dangal, G, Regmi, P, van Teijlingen, E, Dhakal, K B. (2019) Caesarean Section rates in South Asian cities: Can midwifery help stem the rise? Journal of Asian Midwives, 6(2):4–22.
- Dhakal Rai, S., Regmi, P.R., van Teijlingen, E., Wood, J., Dangal, G. and Dhakal, K.B., 2019. Rising Rates of Caesarean Section in Urban Nepal. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council, 16(41): 479-480