Aberdeen academics play key role in delivering first national training course in Geriatric Medicine

Academics from the University of Aberdeen have delivered keynote lectures at the first national training course in Geriatric Medicine in Nepal.

Professor David Reid, the Head of School of Medicine & Dentistry, and Professor Phyo Myint, Professor of Medicine of Old Age, spoke at the event organised by the Manmohan Memorial Teaching Hospital funded by the World Health Organization and supported by the Ministry of Health & Population, the Government of Nepal.

The course was developed through collaboration between the Department of Gerontology, Manmohan Memorial Teaching Hospital (MMTH), Kathmandu, led by Professor Prasanna Gautam (former geriatrician from the NHS Grampian) in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. 

It was attended by 42 delegates from 24 districts covering wide geographical areas of Nepal as well as from the National Army Hospital, Armed Police Hospital and Police Hospital. The course aimed to provide introduction to the principles and practice of Geriatric Medicine and it also aimed to promote the concept of holistic care needs and multidisciplinary approach that are essential in care of an older person.

Like many other developing Nations in Asia, Nepal is experiencing a rapid demographic transition. Professor Myint said: “We hope this event will serve as a good foundation in Nepal in setting up training and development of health care professionals to meet the health and social care needs of older people in Nepal.

“The Grampian region and Nepal share common challenges in looking after the older people living in remote and rural areas. This course allows us to share our experience and expertise in teaching and training of geriatric medicine with our colleagues in Nepal. We are confident that this course will equip the participants with essential knowledge and potential to develop innovative solutions which are relevant to the local ageing population by collaborative working with health care policy makers in Nepal.”

“We were delighted to contribute to this important training event and very much encouraged by the support and enthusiasm we received. We very much hope to continually involve and assist future knowledge transfer activities as well as developing research and clinical services in collaboration with local and government organisations”.

Professor David Reid said that the visit should foster future links between MMTH and the University of Aberdeen in Medical Student Education and Research.

The course was a successful and high profile event opened officially by the Minister of Health and Population, Honourable Mr. Khagaraj Adhikari, MP. He said: “The government is very happy to support this kind of training because although at the policy level we have made several provisions nationally for the proper healthcare of the elderly people in Nepal we have no trained manpower to deliver the service. I am thankful to organizers for bringing this collaboration.

Other Faculty members from Aberdeen included Ms. Thérèse Jackson, Consultant Occupational Therapist in Stroke, NHS Grampian, Mrs Anne Wallace, Subject Lead, Physiotherapy and Mrs Dawn Mitchell, Subject Lead, Occupational Therapy, School of Applied Health Sciences, the Robert Gordon University. The course took place at the Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu, Nepal, between November 2 and 7, 2014.