Nepal Health Research Council NHRC – The Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health and Population, Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. NHRC was established in 1991 by an Act of Parliament and was given the responsibility to promote and coordinate health research to improve the health status of the people of Nepal.
NHRC aims to create an enabling environment for health research and helps researchers and research institutions to improve their research capacity. The NHRC has been carrying out research projects, providing health research grants, conducting research training workshops and dissemination programs to promote research activities. To carry out the different activities, NHRC receives financial support from the Government of Nepal / Ministry of Health and Population, World Health Organization (WHO), UNFPA, UNICEF and other national / international organizations.
The Nepal Health Research Council has been established with a view to;
• Promote health research within health and related sectors, creating awareness and demand for health research, incorporating health research and the use of research results in the development processes of management and policies for the health development processes.
• Marinate ethical, scientific and technical standards in health research;
• Update research priorities and establish a national health research agenda;
• Coordination of research within health and related sectors; Focus research activities on the national health research agenda and avoid duplication;
• Help researchers in their efforts to improve their research skills.
The main areas of focus of NHRC have been the regulation of research, the generation of evidence, including the translation of policies and practices and the development of research capabilities. It serves as the main national institution responsible for the technical and ethical review of proposals submitted by individual health researchers, national authorities, NGOs, international NGOs and universities.
After an appropriate review, these proposals are approved by ERB of NHRC. In its function of generating evidence, it conducts research on its own on national priorities and focuses mainly on national representative studies. Finally, in its function of creating research capacity, it provides training on various aspects of the health system’s research methodology for aspiring researchers in order to develop a critical mass of people who can develop research proposals of good quality.
The objective of NHRC is to maintain high levels of technical and ethical research standards carried out in Nepal. The NHRC has been providing health research grants to researchers to improve research activities across the country. It also conducts research training, workshops and dissemination programs in development regions to promote research activities and evidence generation. The NHRC also facilitates access to research results from different research reports, magazines, books, journals, etc. through the library and the digital database.
It has provided 168 training since 1991 with 8 types of training and 4442 participants.
Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) Objectives
- Cause to do study and research about health problems and issues that are or may arise in the future.
- Carry out programs related to the consulting and information service so that the study and activities related to health research are more useful.
- Acquire global and national evidence on health-related problems, and inform the Government of Nepal for the formulation and planning of evidence-based policies.
Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) Functions
• Research conduction in the various health-related fields within Nepal, aligning with the health priorities identified in the National Health Policy of the Government of Nepal.
• For the regulation, promotion, implementation, management and utilization of health research in Nepal, providing a specific policy direction.
• Define the needs of health research and establish research priorities for the national health system.
• Monitor and evaluate research work related to health and make appropriate recommendations.
• Publish and publicize research experiences and the results of related research at national and international level.
• Obtain information about the study and research or work done on various health-related problems that appear in the world and provide information to the Government of Nepal.
Main activities of the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC):
• Selection, review and approval of research proposals.
• Provide technical guidance and possible support, including services for scientists and researchers.
• Conducting training workshops in Health Systems Research Methodology, Research Management and other research fields.
• Provide email services, photocopying and search in the medical line and other information for researchers free of charge.
• Monitoring and evaluation of all the research carried out at the field level.
• Provide various types of research scholarships to the most deserving researchers.
• Compilation of books related to research, research reports, scientific journals and national and international bulletins.
• Publication and archive of materials related to research, including the publication of research journals, newsletters and reports.
• Creation of networks of health researchers and research institutions / agencies / organizations involved in health research. It serves as a repository of information and resources related to research.
• Dissemination activities for research based information.
• Development of research proposals in health related sciences.
• Develop and conduct research in collaboration with research institutions / agencies / organizations inside and outside of Nepal.
• Do collaborative work with WHO, bilateral, multilateral agencies and other funding agencies / organizations.
• Develop research units in the five development regions of Nepal and coordinate the general aspects of health research in these regions.
Special rights of the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC):
• The council can issue the necessary terms and conditions for the person or organization involved in health-related research work pursuant to section 11 of the NHRC Act No. 29 of 1991 (research means research involving an exam).
• In the event that any person or organization carries out research work without obtaining permission under Section 11 or does not comply with the terms and conditions prescribed by the Board of council while conducting research, the Board may warn that person or organization or prohibit the completion of research work for a specific period.
Approach to strengthen the national capacity to carry out health research and promote its use.
In fulfillment of its mandate to strengthen the national capacity to carry out health research and promote its use, the Council has focused its activities on the following five main areas:
- Consensus and National Commitment Building for Health Research
To support and promote research, and to raise the awareness of the importance and necessity for research as a tool in health program management and health policy development, it is necessary to forge a consensus among the relevant parties. Consensus building must occur among the Ministry of Health, Planning Commission, Universities, Professional Associations and Social Organizations in order to create the necessary supportive environment for health research at all levels of the health care system. Similarly, a commitment from the national health program planners and implementers must be generated. As part of the consensus and commitment building process, it will be necessary to ‘’bridge the gap” between:
The researchers and the most users of health service research, and the two categories of health researchers, that is, the research scientists from academic institutions, a group which places greater emphasis on the philosophy and methodology of scientific research and the ‘’new race of researchers’’ – the program managers, and more concerned with the utility of research findings for making rational operational decisions.
In the past, everything that has been achieved in health research in Nepal is mainly due to the interest and commitment of individual researchers. Despite the contribution of the individual researcher, the continuous encouragement and sustainability of health research require a strong institutional presence that can provide the necessary leadership, identify needs, provide support and coordinate health research activities in the country.
To strengthen the NHRC, the national focal point for health research, emphasis should be placed on expanding the existing infrastructure of the council (administrative and library facilities, data processing facilities), training and improving the research skills of professional staff and provide direct support for research. Likewise, all departments and divisions within MoHP should be strengthened to carry out investigations at their level, especially operational research and in coordination with the National Human Rights Commission.
Creation of research capacity;
The focus of the development of research capacity is the development of a critical mass of researchers with the appropriate research skills. This requires a systematic and sustained effort to train health services personnel, program managers, Working force on Health System Research: report to the Regional Director, Yangon, 27-29 October 1993. Academic researchers provide support while gaining experience in the use of skills acquired during training.
Throughout these categories are the “young researchers”, that is, the people who demonstrate a basic level of research competence but who are not yet competent researchers. “Young researchers in particular require support. In training of health services, the focus should be on providing the basic knowledge and skills to carry out simple research projects at the operational level.
The training for health service managers would develop management skills that use the results of the research in solving of problem. For young researchers, the approach should be to support research studies as a practical learning mechanism to develop and improve their research skills. The research questions addressed and the results obtained would be secondary to the learning process generated by the research. research process As part of this process, the young researchers would be guided by a more experienced researcher who will review the researcher’s work and provide technical support and guidance during each phase of the research study.
With academic and established researchers, the emphasis should be on promoting interdisciplinary research and developing skills in participatory research activities with health personnel and health service administrators. On the basis of these capacity development activities is the introduction of health research skills in the curriculum of the main institutions that produce health personnel, such as IoM, BPKIHS, PAHS, NAMS and in basic and post-staff training of health. Facilities for data processing and statistical inquiries must be developed.
Creating awareness and demand for health research activities;
Although it is a known fact that health research is very valuable as a management tool for effective decision-making at all levels of the health system; It is rarely used in politics or in the decision-making process. To counteract the negative and indifferent attitudes of decision-makers and managers towards health research, efforts will focus on increasing their knowledge of the potential uses of health research to make informed decisions. These efforts will be complemented by providing training to policymakers and individuals at the program level to improve their ability to understand and use the results of research for decision making, and then disseminate more widely the results of the research.
Promotion of health research;
With limited resources available for research, the effective promotion of health research requires that researchers focus on areas that have been identified as priorities and for which solutions can be found through health research. Researchers must also be aware of the need to interact with managers and policy makers in the research process and the frequent need to adopt a multidisciplinary approach. Finally, by promoting research at all levels of health systems, the establishment of peripheral research centers in coordination with the health directorates becomes a valuable tool.
Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) Board
The activities of the Nepal Health Research Council are governed by the Nepal Health Research Council Act of 1991 and are guided by the executive board of the Nepal Health Research Council. The board of directors is composed of thirteen members, including the nominations of the Government of Nepal and institutional representations. The chairperson, the Vice- chairperson, the Member Secretary and the four general members are nominated by the Government of Nepal.
The nominated members are high level health scientists and related fields. The board also contains representative members of National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Institute of Medicine and the Medical Council of Nepal. The NHRC board meets periodically and provides political and technical guidance for the NHRC. The Member Secretary or the Chief Executive, with the advice of the Council of the Nepal Health Research Council and the assistance of the technical and administrative staff of the Nepal Health Research Council, manages the regular affairs.
The Health Research Committee of Nepal was established under the Ministry of Health and was chaired by the Secretary of Health.
• 1991 – 1995
The Nepal Health Research Council Act was authenticated and published on April 12, 1991.
On April 12, 1991, the Health Research Council of Nepal was established as an autonomous and health agency, promulgated by Act No. 29 of the Health Research Council of Nepal in 1991.
Prof. Dr. Mrigendra Raj Pandey was appointed by GoN as Emeritus chairman of the Nepal Health Research Council on April 29, 1991, along with other board members.
The Minister of Health and Labor, Honorable Mr. Padama Ratna Tuladhar inaugurated the NHRC building on February 24, 1995.
The NHRC Health System Research Promotion and Development Project was initiated in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The project helped to encourage young researchers in health research through training and research grant.
• 1996 – 1999
NHRC launched a national effort to register health research conducted in the country under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Mathura Prasad Shrestha.
The high-level consultative meeting was organized to identify Nepal’s national health research priority. The NHRC initiated the publication of the results of the research through the NHRC Bulletin, the NHRC Brochure and the NHRC Journal called “Khoj-bin”.
• 2000 – 2003
On January 7, 2000, the Health Research Council Project was launched to improve the capacity of Nepal Health Research COuncil with the support of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, USA. The project supported NHRC in the development of its ethical guide.
The NHRC received the Rockefeller Foundation International Award in 2000 to support Cooperation in Health Research for Development. The National Ethics Guide for Health Research in Nepal was published for the first time in 2001.
The Environmental Health Unit was established in 2001. The Unit conducted several Environmental Health researches that led to the development of environmental and health policies, such as the Guidelines for the Management of Medical Care Residues, the Guide to Indoor Air Quality, etc. The South Asia Forum for Health Research was established in 2003 with the initiation of the Nepal Health Research Council. The forum was established in a network with the Research Councils in South Asia. Nepal’s Health Research Policy was polished in 2003.
The NHRC began conducting nationwide studies on air pollution, arsenicosis, tobacco taxes, essential health care services, etc.
National guidelines for the use of animals in scientific research in Nepal were developed and published.
• 2007 – 2009The Nepal Health Research Council carried out epidemiological studies, including outbreak investigation and assessment of the burden of the disease in Nepal.
The NHRC issued the Priority Area for National Environmental Health Research of Nepal in 2007.
NHRC held the first National Workshop on Climate Change and Impact on Human Health in 2007.
• 2010 – 2013
The NHRC updated the National Ethical Guidelines and standard operating procedures in 2011. Similarly, the National Health Research Priority was reviewed in 2013.
• 2014 onwards
The NHRC organized the First National Summit of Scientists in Health and Population in 2015 and the NHRC continues with traditional science then. NHRC began the tri- annuall publication of the Journal of NHRC since 2014.
NHRC began conducting research in emerging areas such as Mental Health, Non- communicable Diseases and intervention studies. The NHRC is conducting research on chronic kidney disease and is planning a national mental health survey. The non-communicable disease intervention study is being implemented in the Ilam district of Nepal since 2015. The study is the first of its kind in the history of NHRC.
Functions, duties and powers of committee
- It shall be the duty of the committee to perform, exercise and carry out all such functions, powers and duties required to be performed by the Council, subject to this Act and the bye-law framed under this Act.
- The committee may, as per necessity, hand over
the powers which it may exercise to the chairperson, member, member
officer of the Council.
Institutional review committee.
The Ethics Review Board (ERB) cannot review and possibly monitor all research conducted in the country. Therefore, the ERB has delegated its power to the Institutional Review Committees (IRCs) established in health care centers, academic institutions and research institutions throughout Nepal.
Each IRC team is multidisciplinary and has at least one female member and one external member not affiliated with the institution. The IRCs hold regular meetings and submit semiannual progress reports to the National Human Rights Commission. The NHRC has developed guidelines for the Institutional Review Committees for health research in Nepal. The guidelines regulate behavior and define the operating procedures of IRCs. An IRC is authorized to provide ethics clearance for research proposals from researchers from within the institution with a specific IRC, but is not authorized to approve the following research proposals:
• Research proposed intended for studies at national or international level.
• Sponsored research / externally funded (the term “externally” indicates not only outside the country but also outside the center or health care institution in particular)
• Clinical trials with human and / or animal participants.
Major activities of Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC)
Health research grants
The NHRC has been supporting and encouraging researchers and students to conduct research by providing various types of grants under various titles. The grants are specifically targeted to encourage and support researchers who intend to research priority areas related to health. Grants are awarded to researchers to promote a health research culture and to create more research activities in the country. Grants are provided with the support of the Government of Nepal (GoN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and other research institutions. However, in this fiscal year, NHRC has awarded provincial grants for 25 individual and postgraduate scholarships for 35 people.
Training and workshops
NHRC has been carrying out different types of training and workshops related to health research. The workshops include training workshops on the development of health systems research proposals, training workshops on management and data analysis, writing reports, the ethics review process and meetings with different Institutional Review Committees (IRC) in different faculties of medicine. All the trainings / workshops / meetings were carried out with the support of the Government of Nepal, the World Health Organization and other institutions.
Dissemination of research findings in health
Considering the importance of exposing the research findings, making it available for use and simply not saving them as a report, the NHRC promotes the dissemination of research. One of the ways in which NHRC continues to disseminate the findings is through the organization of dissemination workshops. The objective is to promote the use of the findings to formulate a new plan and a new policy and to review the existing policy, as well as to introduce changes in the practice. To meet this objective, the NHRC conducted dissemination workshops in different regions of Nepal. There is no dissemination program carried out in this fiscal year.
Training to strengthen the capacity of the staff of the Nepal Health Research Council
The Health Research Council of Nepal provided and nominated its staff in different types of training according to the needs in the relevant fields to strengthen the knowledge and capacity of staff and officials.
The NHRC published several reports during the last fiscal year, in addition to the peer-reviewed index journal, Journal of Nepal Health Research Council. During this fiscal year, the frequency of publication of this peer-reviewed journal increased from quarterly to quarterly. Other reports include different training workshops, dissemination workshops and research reports on the various studies conducted by the National Human Rights Commission.
Status of research projects / activities
The Health Research Council of Nepal carried out different research activities supported by the Government of Nepal, the World Health Organization and other different agencies. This is the following:
Fourth National Summit of Health and Population Scientists in Nepal Executive summary;
The fourth national summit of health and population scientists on the theme “Advances in evidence to change health systems in Nepal” focused on the evidence-based health system in Nepal, in the context of the central system transition to the federal. The summit was a platform for researchers and policy makers to meet and discuss the research evidence and its possible involvement in the formulation of health policies in Nepal.
There were 64 oral presentations in parallel session, 7 presentations in plenary session and 67 poster presentations covering different topics, such as non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases, nutrition and food security, health systems, mental health, biomedical research, maternal health, sexual and reproductive. , neonatal and adolescent health, environmental, occupational and urban health. More than 1200 participants throughout the country were present at the summit.
In addition to the best oral presentation and the Best Poster Award, the Medical Trust Young Health Research Award from Mrgendra Samjhana, the Publication award from the Nepal Health Research Council, the Health Research Award, the Best Prize article from the Nepal Health Research Council Magazine and NHRC Best Employee, were introduced this year. The declaration of the summit was presented at the end of the summit.
The session was concluded with remarks from the Executive Chairman of the Nepal Health Research Council. This procedural report compiles the key issues discussed during the summit, including future strategic directions. This report is a resource for a broader community, including those in research, policy and academia, and all stakeholders.
NHRC is a high level government agency to facilitate health research in Nepal. It began to organize an annual summit of health scientists and population since 2015. The main objective of organizing this annual summit is to provide a platform for health scientists and population in Nepal to promote evidence-based decision making in the context of a changing health system. From center to federal, the Fourth National Summit of Health and Population Scientists in Nepal was held from 11 to 12 April 2018 under the theme “Progress of evidence for the change of health systems in Nepal”.
The presentations and discussions made by a great diversity of participants from the academy, research institutes, government, NGO / INGO and external development partners shed light on future actions for research, policy and practice. This procedural report summarizes the key issue discussed during the summit, including future strategic directions. This report serves as a resource for a broader community, including research, policy and academia, and all interested parties.
Health research is one of the cornerstones of a strong, resilient, accessible, affordable, responsive and sustainable health system. This health system contributes to achieving universal health coverage. It is a basis for taking advantage of the demographic dividend, inclusive economic growth, prosperity, equity, social justice and quality of life. The recent political changes in the country with the restructuring of state and government systems that provide an opportunity to advance research and innovations to strengthen the health system in the country.
Based on health research practices in Nepal, and recognizing the importance of using evidence to strengthen the national health system, the Nepal Health Research Council, in collaboration with several institutions, organized the 4th Annual National Health Summit Health and Population Scientists in Nepal on April 11-12, 2018. The rich discussions and deliberations at the summit highlighted the “need for action” in a series of key areas that aim to accelerate the achievement of the summit theme ” Advances in evidence for the change of health systems in Nepal “.
The following declaration should be committed by the delegates, representatives of the Ministry of Health and Population, Nepal Health Research Council, private sector, professional councils and associations, individual researchers and scientists, civil society, academic institutions and bilateral and multilateral agencies;
1. Carry out a rigorous evaluation of the health research system, including available resources, institutional and individual experience, priority areas of research, with a view to advancing the research system in the federal context that addresses the needs of different sectors of the population;
2. Continue with quality research for the generation, synthesis and application of knowledge to improve the performance of the health system to contribute to achieving universal health coverage;
3. Continue the high-level political advocacy to develop Centers of Excellence in health research;
4. Advocate for the effective implementation of international and national commitments assumed by the country for the allocation of adequate resources in health research;
5. Promote and adhere to the conduct responsible for research practices;
6. Strengthen mechanisms to promote research capacities of young researchers and scientists by increasing the availability of research grants and capacity-building opportunities; and
7. Encourage partnerships between academic institutions, research institutions, private sectors, and researchers to improve research capabilities and innovations nationally and internationally – That would address federal, provincial and local health research priorities.
Ethical approval of health research is one of the basic functions of the NHRC. Ethical approval through the Ethics Review Board (ERB) or the Institutional Review Committees (IRC) is mandatory for all health-related studies to be conducted in Nepal. Ethical guidelines for health research have been developed for researchers to facilitate the ethical conduct of studies in the country.
The guideline requires that research proposals be ethically sound for the further undertaking. However, researchers often face the ethical dilemma during the development of the research proposal and its implementation. Foreign researchers often face the requirements of the local ethics committee. Similarly, researchers cannot adequately justify the risks and benefits of their studies for participating researchers and the research community.
Therefore, there is a need for an online course to inform researchers about the ethical requirements established by the NHRC to facilitate the responsible conduct of research in Nepal. Objectives to develop an online curriculum on research ethics, based on the ethical guidelines of the NHRC, aimed at potential researchers who wish to submit an application for ethics approval in the IRCs certified by the NHRC and the NHRC .
The project will deliver an integrated online curriculum on the NHRC website. The curriculum will provide learning opportunities for researchers by familiarizing them with the fundamentals of research ethics. The online course will also facilitate the NHRC to aware researchers about responsibilities and ethical requirements while planning health research in Nepal.
Library of the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC)
The NHRC library was established for the purpose of providing research-based health information in 1991. The 143rd meeting of the NHRC executive board was decided to replace the name of the NHRC Library with Dr. Mrigendra Raj Pandey Library of 2066/01/07 (2009/04/20) for his unlimited contribution and the emeritus chairperson of NHRC was appointed by GoN as president on 2048.01.10 (April 29, 1991). Initially, it began to function as limited reports and books.
By the year 2005, the library was shifted its role on limited resources to increase rich resources throughout the technical library procedure. By 2012, the NHRC Library was moved to the online digital library, where 512 full text research reports, annual MoHP reports, demographic health survey reports, and other documents are available. Now, it is being used by all health and related professionals who participate in research activities. It serves as a repository of information and resources related to health research. The NHRC library has begun to fulfill its purpose.
The NHRC library has a collection of books / tapes / research-based documents and CD-ROMs, and is actively connected with other health research libraries. The library system has been developed through the application of an internationally accepted classification scheme developed by the National Library of Medicine (NML), USA by the use of MESH (Medical Subject Heading) for health related documents, as well as it has also been accepted internationally.
Classification (DDC) Decimal classification of Dewey for non-health related documents. The NHRC library has actively established a network since 2005 with other health-related libraries and information centers located in the valley and outside the valley as well.
It is also an active member of HELLIS Nepal in 2005 in which is a communication center and a national focal point. By partnering with HELLIS Nepal, the NHRC library participates in the development of the HELLIS Nepal website. This partnership will add the presence of the NHRC Library not only nationally but also internationally. The NHRC library provide research-based information on all aspects of health-related issues available in the country act as an active health research information center.
The NHRC library is an active member of the Research4Life Program separately, Hinari (Health Inter-Network Access to Research Initiative) since February 2002, OARE (Online Access Research Environment) since September 2007 and AGORA (Access to Global Online in Research Agriculture) since October 2007.
NHRC Library Services;
Computerized Recovery Service, Internet Services, Referral Services, Article Download and Annual Report of the Health Research Council of Nepal (NHRC) 2074/75 41 printing, online user support and literature search service
NHRC Executive Members, Ethics Review Board (ERB) of the NHRC Members, NHRC staff, PhD students, MPH students, principal investigators, young researchers, physicians, institutional researchers, nursing students, nursing staff A dissertations students from different universities of students from outside the valley and students and medical students from different parts of Nepal, etc.
Objectives of the library
• Provide research and information related to health to all health professionals and professionals involved in research activities.
• To provide that information through email, both nationally and internationally,
• To fill gaps in information based on research in the country,
• Provide information-based research materials (whether in conventional or electronic formats) to health professionals and related professionals,
• Promote the exchange of resources, the creation of networks and the exchange of databases,
• Properly document information based on health-related research in electronic form, and to bring out several publications.
• Computerized rretrieval service
Currently the library has the database created from 1000 records of its collection. Users can explore the database by author, title and keywords on the intranet and the Internet.
• Internet services
The library offers complete Internet services to improve research and study at a subsidized rate
• On-line catalogue
• Full text online
Opening hours of the library
Summer from 8:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.
Winter from 8:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.
Introduction to the library management system;
The library management system (LMS) project is one of the ongoing projects that requires the regular flow of finance and manpower to establish the system and to maintain the system in the future. So this project is determined to be conducted in different phases. As an initial phase or phase I, basic requirements such as hardware and software were made available, the software was installed and configured at the NHRC facilities. Objectives: the complete library with adequate data records, easy access to records whenever and wherever necessary is important
Objectives of the conducting of this project.
– Offering a collection of reference materials and research programs and additional reading materials.
– Ensure that the NHRC library is a central reference for NHRC information at the national and international levels.
– Collect, process and disseminate the most recent information for teaching, research, legislation and publications.
Raw data research of the NHRC
Since its inception, the Nepal Health Research Council has been working to develop a quality research culture in the health sector that can contribute significantly to formulating policies based on evidence, programs and their effective implementation. The NHRC is moving forward to strengthen its capacity to lead health research and turn it into a globally recognized research center in the coming days.
NHRC has designed the web platform to communicate and share information with its various users with the technical support of the health for life project of the United States Agency for International Development. The website includes a platform that allows the NHRC to upload raw data from national studies led by the NHRC and make it accessible for public use. The effort to share raw data will encourage national researchers to investigate new research questions that go far beyond the original research studies.
In addition, the sets of data available to the public will be useful in terms of the size and cost of the study, especially in the current national context where the realization of large studies is economically and technically compromised. The purpose of sharing raw data is to encourage researchers to conduct further analysis of secondary data to support the formulation of evidence-based policies.
Funding partners of the National Human Rights Commission.
To carry out the activities planned for the fiscal year, the Nepal Health Research Council received the fund from the Government of Nepal / Ministry of Health and Population. NHRC also received funds from the World Health Organization (WHO) and other partners for research and training programs. While it also received technical support from NHSSP-II, GiZ-HSSP. NHRC has been receiving a regular annual budget since 2000 AD from the Government of Nepal. The date of the fiscal budget of the Government of Nepal begins in Shrawan (July) and ends in Ashad (July).
Most of the activities of the Nepal health research council within its general objectives are carried out with the Government’s annual regular budget. Some of the activities listed are grants for research, training, workshops, monitoring and supervision of approved research studies and dissemination of research results at the regional level. World Health Organization has provided technical and financial support to the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) since its establishment to carry out health-related programs.
WHO supported the National Human Rights Commission during this fiscal year, mainly in the framework of the two programs which are Population Based Cancer Registry and the 2018 Survey of Steps.
After receiving funds from the government of Nepal and other donor agencies, the NHRC carried out the following activities:
• Carried out several research projects,
• Strengthened the information system of the NHRC Library,
• Supervised research project and Review Committees. Institutional (IRC) approved by the Ethics Review Board of the National Human Rights Commission, • Carried out various courses / workshops,
• Bought different types of office supplies, for FINANCIAL PARTNERS OF THE NHRC
• Conducting Nnational and international meetings / workshops
• Published scientific journals and research reports, and
• Capacity building of NHRC staff.
The NHRC has made significant progress in developing a system for generating evidence in health systems and its various components in the country, but much remains to be done to generate quality evidence and also to facilitate uptake of the available evidence . However, the number of research activities has expanded compared to a few years ago.
Nepalese health research priorities in Nepal
The scenario of health research is changing over time and the paradigm has now changed to newer areas, such as non-communicable diseases and climate change and health. In the changing scenario, the NHRC has participated in the updating of health research priorities in Nepal at different times. First, it identified health research priorities in 1998 by conducting a conference called “Prioritization of the Essential National Health Research Agenda” in Kathmandu.
It had identified research priorities in four different broad areas: Clinical Research, Health Policy and Systems Research, Behavioral and Social Research and Technology, and Product Research. Within the four general areas, It had also categorized different health problems and issues of high, moderate and low priority. Subsequently, the Nepal Health Research Council organized a workshop on “Development of a revised National Health Agenda” in 1999 in Kathmandu.
This workshop identified different health problems as research priorities in 14 headings: Infectious diseases, Reproductive health, Children and adolescent health, Nutritional diseases, Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Injuries and accidents, Substance abuse, Health economics, Mental Health, Indigenous Medicine, Disabilities, Healthcare Delivery System, Environmental Health and Human Resources for Health. After a period of 9 years, the NHRC held again a utmost meeting in 2008 with the participation of different stakeholders, called “Update of priorities in health research” in Kathmandu.
This meeting also gave priority to several areas in health research under different headings. The following general headings were: Transmissible / Infectious Diseases, Non-communicable Diseases, Disease Burden, Neonatal and Child Health, Maternal Health, Adolescent Health, Geriatric Health, Food and Nutrition, Health Care delivery System, Environment and Health Occupational, Burns / Accidents / Injuries / Road Violence, Substance Abuse, Mental Health, Traditional Medicine and Herbs, High Altitude Illness / Illness, Ethics, Square Exchange Issues, Miscellaneous and Upcoming Issues.
Now, four years after the last update on the prioritization of health research, NHRC has reviewed the previous situation considering the current changing scenario of the disease pattern and health problems, as well as the Millennium Development Goals. (MDGs).
Declaration of the Fifth National Summit of Scientists in Health and Population in Nepal
Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC) organized The “Fifth National Summit of Health and Population Scientists in Nepal” with the theme “Research for equity and development in the federal context”. NHRC is an autonomous body of the Government of Nepal that promotes the culture of health research in the country by facilitating communication between researchers and policymakers to support evidence-based practice and health policy.
The Fifth National Summit was an annual meeting which was actually a continuum of previous summits that provides a platform for researchers and academics to share recent and relevant health evidences; and policy makers to interact with researchers and the academy to identify recent evidence.
After the promulgation of the 2015 Constitution of Nepal (2072 B.S.), the health system entered into a federal structure. In addition, as a signatory member state of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is an immediate need to embark on the implementation of the SDGs at the federal, provincial and local levels. Implementing the SDGs means that no one is left behind in terms of health services and their benefits.
Therefore, health research must discover evidence related to the health system from the perspective of equity at all levels. The evidence should be accessible to policymakers for better policy choice.
Health and population scientists can make a significant contribution to generating evidence, which in turn provides insight into the need for quality research in the country in the context of changing health systems. The initial monitoring of available evidence becomes immense in the development and promotion of additional actions to successfully organize a sustainable health system in the federal, provincial and local governments.
The summit focused on research conducted in national health priority areas of Nepal. In addition to the priority areas, this summit focused on achieving a public-private partnership in the promotion of health research and in the role of digital health and big data for the promotion of research, innovation and development. In addition, this summit also attentive on the necessity of advance evidence for equity and development in the federal context of Nepal with the theme “Research for equity and development in the federal context”.
The summit was held from 10 to 12 April 2019 in Kathmandu.
All the delegates, signifying the Nepal Research Council, the Ministry of Health and Population, professional councils and associations, academic institutions, bilateral and multilateral agencies, civil societies, non-governmental organizations, private sectors and individual researchers and scientists , collectively commit to the following declarations;
- Continue to strengthen the quality of research and the translation of knowledge into policies and practices towards equity in health and development.
- Promote interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral health research diplomacy with federal, provincial and local governments for responsible leadership in health and development.
- Facilitate implementation / operational research in the national health program to generate evidence that adapts to the context and is feasible to expand it.
- Continue advocating for the effective implementation of international and national commitments assumed by the country for the allocation of adequate resources in health research.
- Strengthen the partnership with national and international actors for research collaboration. Continue promoting the creation of research networks and alliances between academic institutions, research institutions, private sectors and researchers.
- Continue to strengthen mechanisms to promote research capacities of young researchers and scientists by increasing the availability of research grants and capacity development opportunities.
Author: – Sudip Babu Dhakal