UWE Bristol to establish an Injury Research Centre in Nepal

Issue date: 14 July 2017

Today the Department for Health has announced National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funding to establish Global Health Research teams across a range of significant health projects led by Universities all over the UK.

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will establish an Injury Research Group based in Nepal in collaboration with Kathmandu Medical College, the Government of Nepal, NGOs, advocacy groups, communities and the World Health Organisation.

The purpose will be to ultimately reduce the burden of injury mortality and morbidity in Nepal.

Dr Julie Mytton from UWE Bristol, UK Director of the new research group, said, “This is a really exciting opportunity to work with colleagues at Kathmandu Medical College to tackle the problem of injuries in Nepal.

“Many of the injuries that occur are avoidable so we have the potential to make a real difference.“

Injury is globally one of the most preventable and pressing public health problems and Nepal has many risks for unintentional injury, including from natural disasters and road traffic.

In 2015 earthquakes killed almost 9,000 and injured over 22,000 people. A huge road building programme in Nepal over the last decade has seen over 80,000km of roads built and vehicle numbers increased by 800,000 in the last four years.

Many new roads do not have proven safety features and are poorly maintained. Nepal lacks a national road safety agency, vehicle safety standards and there is limited capacity to enforce traffic safety legislation.

Dr Mytton continues, “Road traffic injuries and deaths are increasing but without any injury surveillance, robust death registration or complete traffic police injury records, the true numbers are unknown.

“In addition, there are poor emergency services, so injured people often travel for hours to the nearest hospital without any stabilisation of their injuries, and may deteriorate or die during the journey.

“Through this funding we are going to work with three highly able and motivated Nepalese graduate students from UWE Bristol to build a partnership that we hope will extend beyond the funding we have been given.

“We believe that our application was strengthened because we had well established links with Nepal having trained three of the key researchers who will lead the project ground work.”

The project begins in July 2017.

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