Manipal In Nepal, Twelve Years On: Lessons Learned And RelearnedCorrespondence Address :
Dr. P. Ravi Shankar, KIST Medical College, P. O. Box 14142, Imadol,Lalitpur, Nepal. Phone: 00977-01-6916201, Fax: 00977-01-5201496. E-mail: email@example.com
The Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, the first medical college in the private sector in Nepal was started in 1994. The college has included retired teachers and officials from the services in the team. Most activities have been linked up with teaching and training and the college has joined hands with local service clubs and other organizations for service delivery.
The institution maintains a close relationship with the local community and rewards team members who stay longer. The college is trying to attract Nepalese faculty and to adapt its curricula and training to the healthcare needs of Nepal.
A historic agreement was signed between Majestyâ€™s Government of Nepal (presently renamed as the Nepal Government) and the Manipal Education and Medical Group to set up a medical college in the private sector in Nepal. The Manipal College of Medical Sciences (MCOMS), Pokhara started in 1994 with a MBBS program. The beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara in the shadow of the magnificent Annapurna ranges is a wonderful setting for a medical college. In a previous article, a few years back Pai et al. had outlined lessons from Manipal to Nepal.1 In this article we aim to reexamine the validity of those lessons at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Lesson No.1: Include retired teachers in the creative team
The Manipal group had always believed in including retired teachers in the core team. Today MCOMS has retired teachers heading many basic science and clinical departments. Their rich experience continues to be an asset to the institution.
Lesson No. 2: Co-opt experts and other officials from the services.
Retired teachers from the Army Medical Corps (AMC) and senior officials from the services continue to constitute the backbone of the institution. In Nepal, education of children, family commitments and the volatile political situation are among the many reasons why younger faculty members are reluctant to make a long term commitment. Retired faculty members are more likely to stay for a long period of time.
Lesson No. 3: Lateral movement of faculty on sabbatical
Due to the fluid security situation and negative reporting in the media, lateral movement of faculty on sabbatical has decreased. The opening of new medical colleges in the private sector in India, especially in the South may be another reason.
Lesson No. 4: Link up every activity with teaching and training
MCOMS conducts undergraduate medical courses, MD and MSc courses in Basic Science subjects, Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Technology (BMLT) and Bachelor of Medical Information Technology (BMIT) courses and certificate course in Nursing. The college is on the threshold of starting PhD courses in Basic Sciences subjects and MD programs in clinical subjects. The training programs ensure that the institution could get inexpensive expertise. The MD and MSc programs have been started with the objective of meeting future healthcare needs of Nepal.
Lesson No. 5: Join hands with local service clubs
MCOMS has joined hands with local service clubs in Pokhara to better serve the community health needs. The college conducts health camps in various localities of Pokhara city and surrounding villages. In many cases local youth clubs organize and conduct the health camps with the college providing the medical personnel.
Lesson No. 6: Community participation through banks
Not yet implemented in Nepal
Lesson No. 7: Community participation through school teachers and schools.
There is no organization corresponding to the Academy of General Education in Nepal. However, the college has tied up, with the Regional Education Directorate and conducts regular screening programs in different schools in Pokhara. MCOMS in association with His Majestyâ€™s Government (HMG) (presently renamed as the Nepal Government), United Nations International Childrenâ€™s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Family Planning Association of Nepal (FPAN) conducts Mother and Child Health (MCH) clinics in all the 18 wards of Pokhara city. Under-five clinics and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) counseling services are also provided.
The college conducts training programs for personnel and volunteers of the Gorkha Welfare Society (GWS), Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), Rotary club, World Vision International and FPAN. The trained personnel have become a powerful agent of change in their communities.
Lesson No. 8: Associate membership of hospital for med
The help of Dr. Bishnu Rath Giri, in critically going through the manuscript and suggesting revisions is gratefully acknowledged.
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