Hardly ever does a research trip go smoothly and completely to plan. Our latest trip to Nepal was no different. It started really with a delay, I had the money for a flight in the spring, but I really could not find the time to leave Bournemouth University for a three-week trip.
The first little hiccup of this summer’s fieldwork trip, during the monsoon, occurred on arrival at Kathmandu Airport on 23 July. I normally bring three bottles of whisky as a present for my PhD former students and fellow researchers in Nepal. These are bought during my stop-over in the Middle East and this always worked well until this year. This time I was stopped on arrival by a very apologetic customs officer who informed me that the rules for bringing alcohol into Nepal had changed since the beginning of this year and that I could only bring in one bottle. I received a lovely certificate for the two bottles I had to leave behind (see photo).
The second little hiccup was that one of the three research dissemination meetings we had hoped to organise in Kathmandu could not take place. Unfortunately, the organisation we had been collaborating with had not managed to finalise the research report on time. We had also hoped to meet up with staff at Social Science Baha. We have submitted the final draft manuscript for our next book to them and wanted to discuss progress, but the director was unfortunately out of the country.
Further little hiccups were more mundane, such as the electricity going off twice (for perhaps five minutes each time) during one of my teaching sessions on Introduction to Qualitative Research. This meant trying to start a slow laptop as back-up, whilst restarting a still warm overhead projector, etc. But the Nepali audience, being used this, took it all in its stride. And I’ll spare you the details of my day of diarrhoea (either weather or food-hygiene related, probably both).
The biggest problem this time was much more unexpected. Two days ago there was a big fire not too far from in Kathmandu (see picture taken from my bed room). A little later after the photo was taken, we got stuck in traffic because several roads were blocked around the burning building on our way to Tribhuvan University. Later I found out that the fire had destroyed the head office of a national internet provider, which is also the provider for the charity Green Tara Nepal, which we are working with. So I have had hardly any internet for a few days which is really difficult for a 21st century academic.
However, this fieldwork trip has been very successful to date. We have co-organised two well attended meetings, one on the introduction of CPD in Nursing led by Dr. Bibha Simkhada (see previous BU blog here) and one Consultation meeting on migration and health research led by Dr. Pramod Regmi, both run in collaboration with BU’s Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada. Moreover, I was invited to speak at an international sociology conference last Sunday here in Kathmandu which I did not even know was going on till two days before. I had to pleasure of meeting our midwifery friends in Nepal as well as a representative of the German Aid Agency GIZ. We managed to have dinner in Kathmandu with loads of colleagues and friends who work with BU in one form or another, including one of my recent co-authors from the University of Tokyo who happened to be in Nepal.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Bournemouth University facilitated a Strategic planning meeting to develop a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework for Nepal last week in Kathmandu. The planning meeting was held on 30th July 2019 at the Institute of Medicine IOM Maharajgunj Nursing Campus. Midwifery is not formally recognised in Nepal, i.e. as a profession separate from nursing, therefore when refer to nursing CPD in this blog we mean both ‘nurses’ and ‘nurse-midwives’.
Bournemouth University is collaborating in this project with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) in the UK, the IOM Nursing Campus, the Nursing Association of Nepal (NAN), MIDSON, the Nepal Nursing Council (NNC) and several other key stakeholders in Nepal to support nursing regulatory bodies to establish mandatory CPD and/or post-registration training programmes relevant to their current practice in nursing.
The Bournemouth team (led by Dr. Bibha Simkhada with Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and Dr.Pramod Regmi) argued that CPD offers nurses the opportunity to maintain, improve and broaden knowledge, expertise and develop their personal and professional qualities to enhance practice and career development. Nepal has had limited process and progress in ensuring CPD for nurses and the uptake of post-registration education and training programmes or CPD tends to be ad hoc. Generally, CPD in Nepal remains under-developed as showing evidence of having received CPD is not currently a requirement of nurses when they re-register every five year.
This project is a good example of a BU FUSION project as our earlier Research in the form of a needs assessment will to the introduction of CPD which is of course, post-registration Education in nursing, helping to improve Practice in a low-income country. We think we have had at least some impact on nursing in Nepal as the general feeling of our strategic planning meeting positive towards introducing CPD in the near future in Nepal.
This month’s fieldtrip to Nepal has a rather confusing element, namely the two separate organisations the BU team is working with have the same abbreviation. Not only that, each organisation/abbreviation is equally well known in its own field. Dr. Bibha Simkhada, Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen and FHSS’s Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada are here in Kathmandu to work with IOM (Institute of Medicine) Maharajgunj Nursing Campus. It is the pioneer school of nursing in the country and part of Nepal’s oldest university, Tribhuvan University. This collaboration involves studying issues around CPD (Continuous Professional Development) in Nursing in Nepal, and also includes BU’s Dr. Ian Donaldson and Dr. Catherine Angell.
The second research meeting next week or early August in Kathmandu is between BU’s Dr. Pramod Regmi, Prof. Padam Simkhada and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen on the issue of health and migration with IOM (International Organisation of Migration). IOM, as a United Nations’ agency, is the leading international organization for migration. This health of migrants’ project also involves BU’s Dr. Nirmal Aryal and Dr. Preeti Mahato.
Sometimes it is all a little bit confusing. Perhaps as well that we don’t have a collaborator from the IOM (Isle of Man).
The article “Why suicide rate among pregnant women in Nepal is rising” written by BU academics was published in The Conversation last year. At the time this attracted Indian newspaper attention. Clearly it is still a relevant issue as it attracted national coverage in a Nepali newspaper this week.
Dr. Bibha Simkhada & Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Last week we presented key findings from our various research projects on health and migration in Nepal. The research meeting was held in a hotel in central Kathmandu. More than seventy people turned up, in fact more people than had registered so the kitchen had to add to the lunch buffet at short notice. The chief guest was the Deputy Speaker of the Nepal’s Federal Parliament, Shivamaya Tumbahangphe. Dr. Tumbahangphe was the first female MP in Nepal with a PhD (in Political Sciences). She is speaking on the photo right, standing next to BU’s Dr. Bibha Simkhada.
The event was organised jointly with Liverpool John Moores University, Green Tara Nepal, and POURAKHI Nepal. the latter is an organisation of women migrant workers established in 2003. It aims to ensure the rights of women migrant workers and their families in the entire process of migration. The organisation focuses its work on women migrant worker’s concerns regarding issues that arise at the different stages of migration, namely pre-employment, pre-departure, employment and post-arrival periods through support programmes.
Nearly one-seventh of the world’s population is now living in a location different from the one in which they were born. Some 3.5 million Nepali are working as migrant workers in the Gulf countries, Malaysia, and India, contributing nearly one-third of the Nepal’s gross domestic product. Despite Nepal’s long history of work-related migration, the national dialogue has only recently become more prominent. Migration has become a political as well as a social issues, for example, we see migration mentioned in the national media on a daily basis. Our meeting was reported on TV and in an English-language newspaper The Himalayan Times on January 6th (to read article click here!).
The BU team comprises: Dr Pramod Regmi (FHSS Lecturer in International Health), Dr. Nirmal Aryal (Post-doctoral Research Fellow), Dr. Bibha Simkhada (FHSS Lecturer in Nursing), and in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) Dr. Catherine Angell and Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen. The team is complemented by Liverpool John Moores University’s Prof. Padam Simkhada (who is also Visiting Professor at BU), Dr. Pratik Adhikary (BU graduate based at Green Tara Nepal) and colleagues at Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences, India.