Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Centre of Excellence

 

Kanti Hospital

Kanti Children’s Hospital is the only government referral level Children’s Hospital in Nepal. It was established in 1963 as a general hospital with only 32 beds. It has since grown to 320 beds.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25, 2015 crippled the city of Kathmandu. A five-month blockade only magnified the devastation causing a shortage of fuel, supplies, and medicines.

Background to Project.

We will work on funding this project with Dr. Arun Kunwar a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Nepal.

The population of Nepal is about 30 million, and 40% of the population is younger than 18 years (estimated to be about 12 million). It is thought that about 15 – 20 % of the child population suffers from some form of mental health problems. If children need admission to a hospital due to a psychiatric illness, they are often housed in an adult psychiatric inpatient facility, which is against international standards and a violation of children rights.

Children and adolescents who suffer from severe psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar / uni-polar depression, are often kept at home in isolation from the world, due to social stigma. It is not unusual to see every now and then news about children with severe mental health problems often chained to a bed post, or even locked in a room for years at times. Probably, this is just the top of the iceberg. The real sufferings of children and adolescents with severe mental disorders may be a lot worse.

Dr. Arun is supported with running costs and clinical support from Norwegian colleagues from The Norwegian Psychiatric Association for this present clinic.

Excerpt from the 2015 report:

Our ultimate goal is to expand into a national centre which will include both an outpatient clinic and an inpatient ward, and act as training centre for professional who work with children and adolescent with psychiatric and mental health problems.

KCH (Kanti Children’s Hospital which is Government run) has provided us a space for the building and we have been in discussion with an engineering firm on building design and cost. The final design and costings will be agreed by July 2017.

Dr. Kunwar and Ms. Tuladhar from CWIN are in the process of looking for more collaborating partners, both national and international, who can provide with more funding for this project. Moreover, we are having ongoing discussions with Kanti Children’s Hospital and the Government of Nepal in order to increase state funding.

NB. CWIN is a national Nepalese charity that works mainly with Street Children.

So the Aim now is to develop the existing clinic into a National Centre of Excellence in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry as per the report.

Members of TOUCH Ireland met with Arun in Nepal in November and he explained his vision and goal to provide a better service for children and adolescent with psychiatric issues.

The project will consist of:

  1. Outpatients Clinic – Ground Floor
  2. Inpatient Ward – First floor
  3. Training Centre & Administration – Second Floor

 We have a big task ahead but through our volunteers and friends we will get there!

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