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.

TOUCH Ireland in conjunction with FORUT (a Norwegian aid organisation: will work on funding this project together 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!


Update End of February 2018

To date progress has been very slow due to complications with the site for the proposed building. Also progress was complicated between CWIN (Coordinators of the construction and are a Child Protection Agency) and the Kanti Hospital Authorities and the Nepalese Ministry of Health. This was around the design and possible further development of the building.

The land issue is now completely resolved and all have agreed on the final Building Plan.

The building will now be a four story building with the Child Adolescent Centre occupying the first two floors. ie. our involvement.

So now across the Ground Floor and First Floor will consist of: Outpatients, Inpatients, Training & Administration.

As of February ’18 the contract to construct the Building is out to Tender!

It is only when this is completed we will know the final costing to TOUCH Ireland and FORUT.

Late 2018 Project Begins:

When in Nepal in February 2019 we traveled to Kanti Children’s Hospital to see how this project was progressing which we are co-funding with the Norwegian Psychiatry Association, FORUT-Norway and CWIN.
This project started in December ’18 and will conclude in early 2020.
This is a dream coming to reality for Dr. Arun Kumar who we met about three years ago. It has been a long struggle for Arun over these years dealing with bureaucracy and the engineering challenge of the construction of this building. The site which was given by the Nepali Government is at the back of the hospital looking down some 20 meters to Kathmandu city and this is in an earthquake environment! The foundations which are nearing completion consist of 40 concrete/steel pillars going down 20 meters and 20 pillars going down 10 meters into the valley below. This was all done without machinery.

January 2019:

We are all so happy to see this project moving forward now and when finished it will be of great value to the vulnerable children of Nepal. For information on the project please click link below:

June 2019:

From Dr. Arun Raj Kunwar, M.D. Kanti Hospital
Dear all at TOUCH Ireland,
The work at building site is progressing well. The foundation has been completed. The first floor work is almost completed and plan is they will complete first and 2nd floor concrete placement (Dhalan) work before the start of monsoon so they can work inside during monsoon (rainy season).

July 2019

As you may be aware we are doing this project in partnership with FORUT, an NGO from Norway.
We are now about to send out another €25,000 to bring our donation to €50,000.00 of the €100,000.00 committed by TOUCH Ireland.
The building is progressing well. It has been raining constantly due to monsoon and work has been slow last week or so. The concrete for the first floor has been completed and work on the 2nd floor has been going on. The plan is to pour concrete and complete 2nd floor work in the next 2 weeks, weather permitting.

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