Reflections on THET-funded maternal mental health training in Nawalparasi

Authors: Ireland, J., Lawrie, A., Havelock, D., Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Simkhada, B., Devkota, B., Sherchan, L., Silwal, R.C. and Maharjan, S.K.

Conference: BNAC 15th Nepal Study Days 2017

Dates: 12-13 April 2017


Pages: 1-16

Publisher: Britain-Nepal Academic Council

Place of Publication: London


Bournemouth University, Tribhuvan University's (Nepal’s oldest and largest university), Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and Green Tara Nepal have recently complted a maternal-mental health training project in Nawalparasi. This project is supported by the Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET) as part of the Health Partnership Scheme, is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and ran until March 2017.

Maternity care in many parts of rural Nepal is poor - only 36% of women have access to a ‘skilled birth attendant’ (MOHP 2011). The level of training of health workers in remote areas falls short of the international standard for midwifery. Maternal mortality rates have declined over the past two decades; however it is still high in remote rural pockets. Nearly 16% of maternal deaths are due to indirect causes - suicide and murder being the highest. Perinatal mental health awareness is low and very much associated with stigma, moreover mental health issues in women as often made worse by the low status of women in society.

Community awareness and skilled first line help from health care workers is a step to protecting and maternal mental and emotional well-being . Educating community health providers can help improve this. THET awarded funding to send UK volunteers to work together in Nepal to: 1. establish infrastructure for workshops in the poorest region; 2. communicate with experts; 3. assess learning needs and expectations of community health workers; 4. Design and plan six interactive workshops (repeated x 3 to different staff groups to maximise exposure). Adding knowledge and skills incrementally 5. Re-test learning 6. Produce draft curriculum, and disseminate in Nepal and internationally. This poster highlights some of the experiences and feedback from both UK volunteers and Nepali community-health workers

Source: Manual