Burdett Trust for Nursing

Improving Healthcare through Nurse-led initiatives. Registered Charity 1089849

Scholarship Stories: Supporting Training for Rural Health Workers in Nepal

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Project Title: Improving Primary Care provision in remote Himalayan villages of Nepal by providing relevant and practical clinical update training to rural nurses

Who are PHASE?

Over the last 10 years PHASE (Practical Help Achieving Self Empowerment) has been reducing poverty on a sustainable basis in Himalayan mountain villages of Nepal.  They do this through integrated programmes of healthcare, education and livelihoods. PHASE work in some of the most high need areas in the world; extremely remote locations (up to 8 days walk from a road) with scant resources, a harsh climate and difficult terrain.

Since PHASE were established, they have developed many great relationships with charitable trusts, foundations and corporate organisations who sponsor the work that their Nepalese staff carry out.

What funding did you receive from the Burdett Trust?

PHASE received their first grant from The Burdett Trust for Nursing in 2015. The Trust provided £6,138 to improving Primary Care provision in remote Himalayan villages of Nepal by providing relevant and practical clinical update training to nurses.

What will this fund?

PHASE Nepal supports existing primary healthcare services in extremely remote parts of Nepal, if these centres were not supported people would have to walk for several days to access care.  To aid these – sadly under-funded, under-resourced, under-staffed and poorly functioning – government health centres, PHASE develops a relationship with the local authorities and the community and sends qualified professionals, equipment and extra resources to enable the health centres to improve their quality of care.

PHASE Nepal offers health staff update training twice a year to help improve their knowledge, skills and confidence. This also helps their young (largely) female staff team to cope with the professional isolation of working in very isolated villages, and the difficulties that arise in effectively referring to secondary care health centres and hospitals. These training opportunities are planned and delivered depending on the trainees’ needs.

Through the grant from The Burdett Trust for Nursing, PHASE Nepal was able to run clinical update and practical training session for 43 rural nurses.  Topics included integrated management of child illnesses, obstetric labour, poisoning, post partum haemorrhage, child health, maternal health, infection prevention, recognition of severe illnesses and prescribing for key diseases.

The support of The Burdett Trust for Nursing enabled 15 health workers to benefit from a ten-day dental training conducted by the Health and Development Society of Nepal. Half of the training focused on the theoretical knowledge of oral hygiene, oral health and tooth extraction, whilst the remaining five days were dedicated to practical training. A further 12 health staff were given a contraceptive implant training, teaching them how to implant and remove contraceptives.

LaxmiLaxmi, a health worker at a PHASE health post in Manbu, Gorkha district, recognises the importance of dental health-care in remote Nepalese communities.  Small problems left untreated can have serious health consequences. Having taken the PHASE dental training Laxmi is now confident in her knowledge about oral health and the symptoms and prevention of diseases related to insufficient oral hygiene. Villagers are now able to receive dental treatment such as the extraction of teeth at the PHASE health post. Previously, a villager would have been referred to a dental hospital, often several days walk from the village, meaning many people chose not to seek treatment.



SitaSimilarly, PHASE contraceptive implant trainings enable local communities to seek family planning consultations at their local health post. Sita, has worked with PHASE Nepal for the last 3 years as a midwife and Skilled Birth Attendant, she received a 7-day training in conducted by the Family Planning Association of Nepal. Sita understands that family planning is an important part of her work and the contraceptive implant is seen as an ideal form of contraception for remote communities with little or no access to healthcare. The PHASE training enables health workers such as Sita to provide much-needed consultations and follow-up appointments.  Furthermore, the training means that women arriving at the health post suffering from side-effects can have the implant removed, whereas time and money constraints previously prevented many women from making the at least journey to other medical facilities. Local women are given more control over their contraception, as they are able to have the implant removed whenever they wish.

What will the impact on the project be?

The improved skills of health workers will benefit 70,000 Nepalese people who live in remote PHASE project areas, this includes over 10,000 children under the age of 5 years. PHASE also expects that families from neighbouring villages will benefit from improved health provision in these areas.

The training and presence of experienced health staff in remote village will also support those with chronic health problems and disabilities, who need a local health advocate and those who suffer sudden severe illness or accidents which are normally outside the scope of the government primary health care system.

Many staff move into higher positions within the government following their employment with PHASE. This creates a motivated and skilled nursing human resource which will improve health indicators in Nepal.

We hope that this training session and these end goals ensure that PHASE continues to deliver the highest quality of primary healthcare possible in isolated, disadvantaged areas of Nepal enable people to become more empowered citizens.


The Burdett Trust for Nursing was established in 2002 with the aim of making charitable grants to support the nursing contribution to healthcare. The Trustees target their grants at projects that are nurse-led and that empower nurses to make significant improvements to the patient care environment. The Trustees regularly review their grant-making policies and procedures to ensure that their grants achieve positive outcomes for patients, nursing and healthcare practice.

Find us online: www.btfn.org.uk

Facebook: facebook.com/burdetttrust

Twitter: @burdetttrust


Author: burdetttrust

Improving Healthcare through Nurse-led initiatives. Registered Charity 1089849

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