Monday, 27 June 2011

Resources for scholarships, awards, grants and online discussions

1. Scholarships and awards for postgraduate (Master and PhD) studies:- Australian Awards
- AusAID Awards
- Endeavour Awards
- Postgraduate Scholarship Database for Australia
- Scholarships at Australian Universities
- Scholarships Australia
- DAAD scholarship to study in Germany
- DAAD scholarship database
- Dutch (Netherland) Government Scholarship-NUFFIC

2. Grants-

3. Online discussion forums and communities
- Global Health Delivery Online Improving health care delivery through global collaboration
- Professional Networking and collaboration 
- Knowledge Gateway for Reproductive Health

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Maternal and Newborns Health in Nepal

According to the 2006 Nepal Demographic Health Survey, 281 women per 100,000 live births die of complications during childbirth, and 33 newborns die per 1,000 live births; two-thirds of neonatal deaths occur in the first week of life. This means that a newborn baby dies every twenty minutes (3 newborns are dying every hour) and every four hours a woman dies of childbirth related causes. Most of these deaths occur in rural areas and can be prevented easily if skilled health workers are mobilised effectively backing up with simple locally available resources.

Professor Mahmoud Fathalla from Federation of International Gynaecologist and Obstetrician quote "Women are not dying because of diseases we cannot treat... they are dying because societies have yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving" is very true in the context of Nepal. I'm saying this because though in the National Policy on Skilled Birth Attendants 2006 in the long-term (Pre-service) measure it has explicitly mentioned that the Government of Nepal has acknowledged the need of producing a new cadre of professional midwife as a crucial human resource for safe motherhood, providing service and leadership in midwifery for the country but still this has not yet been operationalise. We only have 5 more years to achieve the set targets of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals 4, reducing child deaths and 5, improving maternal health and still majority, 81% Nepalese women are giving birth at home without the assistance of skilled health workers.

If you watch the video "Birth in Nepal" filmed by 5-months pregnant lady, Sabina Shrestha who went to find out why so many women and babies are dying in Nepal gives you clear picture of Nepali women and their childbirth practices and reason for newborns and mothers dying due to childbirths and pregnancies related cause. Here is the link

Contributed in Nepal Development Forum dated June 18, 2011.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Quality of Nursing Care and Nursing Leadership in Nepal

In Nepal, according to the recent Nepal Nursing Council's recent record (Dec, 2010) there are around 30,000 nurses in the country. Every year around 5000 nurses graduate in the country from public and private nursing colleges. Most of the graduates do not get jobs so some stay at home, some work as a volunteer, those who can afford to go abroad go for further study and very few of them get job in the private medical colleges and private hospitals.

On the other hand, in the national health care delivery system only 3000 nurses are currently working. In the government health care centres there are shortage of nurses but still government of Nepal is not absorbing these graduates. Quality of nursing care is big question in the health care delivery system of the country. Even in the oldest and largest public hospital like Bir Hospital managed by the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) the quality of nursing care is very poor.

Likewise, as per the last year record 40 years old Nepal Nursing Association has only 3000 nurses in their memberships.

Therefore, I always wonder what is lacking in the leadership of nursing in Nepal? Are nurses who are holding leaderships are incompetent? How do Nepalese nurses leadership can be strengthened? What can be done to improve the quality of nursing care in Nepal? How we can empower and make accountable and responsible to those nurses holding leadership positions in the association to strengthen nursing profession in the country?

Contributed to the Global Health Delivery Project's Global Nursing and Midwifery dated 13 June.

Monday, 13 June 2011

A girl child being unsafe from her own father in Nepalese society: Sexual molestation

I would like to take an opportunity to share very sad incident took place in the life of 12 years old girl being sexually molested by her own blood relations father (not adopted) in Nepal. This is the real story of one of my staff members, Sumitra Jha's family. Two years back (in 2009), Sumitra's (named changed) niece has been raped by her own father in Sanepa, Lalitpur. Sumitra by profession is a nurse has known about the incident from her niece when second time her father attempted her to rape she was screaming and running towards Sumitra’s house in Sanepa and her father (Sumitra's brother) was running after her.

Only after a month going through critical investigation process pledging policemen Sumitra and her younger brother proved him guilty. They identified that he has been continuously engaged in sexual relationships with his wife’s sisters since he got married. He was constantly sexually harassing and abusing his wife sisters one after another till they got marry. When all three his wife sisters got marry and he asked his wife to find out someone for him to have a sex but his wife refused. So, he warned his wife saying that he can do whatever he wish if she does not find someone to have a sex. This is how story started and raped her daughter.
Since Sumitra was bold enough they locked up him in Jail in Nakhu, Lalitpur and still now he is in jail. Sumitra said she couldn’t believe how policemen were asking them not take this case seriously because it is a matter of family prestige and better to dismiss the case.
Sumitra shared about this case and sought advice with me, asking what to do to his brother. Otherwise, such news would never come out in the public. But sadly Sumitra niece is very much mentally depressed because she could not believe that her own father could do that to her. So, recover from this sitation she has been sent to India for her further study.

Sexual molestation is common in Nepalese society which has been increasingly reporting by media it could be because of increasing public awareness as well as women empowerment dare to seek justice for such inhuman barbaric action of some ill minded male family members usually father, grand-father, uncle and brothers. Therefore, unless and until we don't empower and educate each and every mother and girl child this kind of incidents will continue among girls and story will remain concealed.