UWE Bristol-led injury research centre opens in Nepal

Issue date: 06 September 2018

Launch of injury research centre in Nepal

A research centre to address the growing problem of injuries affecting the people of Nepal has been formally opened in a ceremony in Kathmandu.

The Nepal Injury Research Centre (NIRC) has been established through a grant from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in the UK. It is a collaboration between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and Kathmandu Medical College (KMC), in cooperation with the Government of Nepal, the World Health Organisation, NGOs (Mother and Infant Research Activities, Safe Crossings), the Nepal Red Cross Society, advocacy groups (Swatantrata Abhiyan), the University of Bristol, and communities.

The purpose of the research centre will be to help reduce the burden of deaths and ill health due to injury in Nepal. 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.

Chief Guest at the launch, Dr Surendra Kumar Yadav, State Minister for Health and Population, said, “The prevention of injuries is mentioned in the national health strategy of Nepal so the results of studies by NIRC should be incorporated by the Government and the Ministry of Health and Population.”

Dr Julie Mytton, from UWE Bristol, and UK Director of the new research group, said, “We are delighted to have this opportunity to support the Government of Nepal, and all our collaborators in Nepal to improve our understanding of who gets injured, why they get injured, and how we can stop such injuries from happening.”

The NIRC aims to strengthen injury research capacity by improving the information collected on injuries, and by recruiting new academics in injury prevention research and providing them with training. Speaking on behalf of the NIRC and collaborators, Professor Sunil Kumar Joshi, of Kathmandu Medical College and Nepal Director of the NIRC, said, “We are happy to receive the support from NIHR and UWE Bristol in establishing NIRC under KMC. We are honoured that our collaboration has led to the formation of a National Advisory Committee for Injury Prevention and Control under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Population. I would also like to thank all the collaborators for their continuous support in the prevention of injuries in Nepal.”

The NIRC will initially focus on two priority areas highlighted by the Government of Nepal; injuries on the roads and providing care immediately after a road collision. Citing the needs for improved first-response capacity, Dr Sushil Nath Pyakuryal, Chief Specialist at the Ministry of Health and Population, and Chair of the newly formed National Advisory Committee for Injury Prevention and Control, said, “There are currently delays in decision making, delays in transfer to healthcare and delays in receiving care in the health facilities.”

Partnership with the Government and relevant stakeholders is a key aspect of this project. Professor Rajendra Koju, Dean of Kathmandu University Medical School, said, “I am very happy that Kathmandu Medical College is part of this initiative. This will generate evidence that will open the avenues of research for medical students in Nepal.”

The project began in July 2017 with activities to meet stakeholders and understand the evidence available on tackling injuries in Nepal. The NIRC received its full funding in February 2018 which will support the research team until June 2020. The research was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research using Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding.

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