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One-day Emerald dissemination event, Chitwan

Dissemination workshop of Emerald project

A one day dissemination workshop of Project Emerald was conducted at Bharatpur Garden Resort, Bharatpur, Chitwan on October 29, 2017. The main objective of this workshop was to share the findings from various studies conducted under Project Emerald and suggest the way forward to the concerned stakeholders. It also aimed to inform the participants about the activities conducted at Chitwan district by TPO Nepal. The chief guest of the program was Mr. Krishna Kumar Dallakoti, chief of District Coordination Committee, Chitwan. Guests included Mr. Bhogendra Raj Dotel, chief of PHCRD division, Ministry of health, Mr. Krishna Prasad Subedi, Local Development Officer of Chitwan, Dr. Kedar Marhatta, Mental Health specialist from WHO, Dr. Saroj Ojha, Head of Psychology Department, TUTH, Mr. Suraj Koirala, Executive Manager of TPO Nepal, Mr. Nagendra Prasad Luitel, Head of Research Department, TPO Nepal and 5 municipality chiefs of Chitwan district. The program lasted 3 hours and was attended by 87 participants including journalists, TPO Nepal staffs, service users, local government and health facility representatives.

The presentations focused on the activities conducted by TPO Nepal at Chitwan district, economic impact of mental illness, facilitating factors and barriers to integrated mental health care, and strengthening mental health data systems in Nepal.

The studies conducted through Emerald project showed that households with mental disorders were economically worse-off than households without members with mental disorders and hence required targeted financial protection. Numerous barriers are present in all aspects of health systems (governance, finance, human resources, essential medicines, health information systems, and service delivery) such as government giving less priority to mental health, turnover of health workers, problems in effective supply of psychotropic drugs, insufficient indicators in existing HMIS systems, and stigma as a barrier to service delivery in Chitwan District; and management of these barriers would help in the scale-up of integrated mental health services. To address the barriers to HMIS system, Emerald project developed and evaluated key indicators for mental health. The evaluation of these indicators showed high feasibility, acceptability, and utility mainly of- ‘treatment’, ‘diagnosis’, and ‘severity of problems’. If the health workers are trained and followed-up effectively and if mechanisms for proper management of collected data could be developed, then these indicators could be integrated into the existing HMIS systems.

A number of key note speech were given by guests such as Dr. Kedar Marhatta, Dr. Saroj Ojha and Mr. Bhogendra Raj Dotel, and by locally elected representatives of various municipalities of Chitwan on the importance of mental health and the need for their local government to prioritize mental health programs. A number of local government representatives declared that they have allocated certain amount of budget for mental health programs in their municipalities. Remarks was also given by Mr. Ek Narayan Aryal, health worker from Meghauli health facility,  in the form of poetry. Final remarks were given by Mr. Krishna Kumar Dallakoti, chief of District Coordination Committee. He stated that the workshop was result-oriented and urged the local government to prepare programs on mental health based on the study findings.