Nepal National Unit of UNESCO Chair in Bioethics in 2016 - Activities Report

Nepal National Unit of UNESCO Chair in Bioethics in 2016

Workshop for Bioethics inclusion in medical curriculum and Establishment of ‘BPKIHS Students’ Wing Bioethics’:

A Workshop of Academic leaders of Medical Institutes of Nepal was organized by the Unit for the inclusion of Bioethics in UG and PG medical curriculum on May 30, 2016 in BPKIHS. The BPKIHS Students’ wing of Nepal National Bioethics Unit of UNESCO Chair was also inaugurated by Chief Guest and dignitaries on the dias by lighting the auspicious lamp. Nepal Unit Head Prof. Rupa R Singh delivered welcome speech, Chief Guest and Rector, BPKIHS Prof. Bikram P. Shrestha extended his best wishes, medical ethics expert Prof. Ramesh Kant Adhikari and International faculty Prof. Mingma L. Sherpa highlighted the importance of the workshop and Member Secretary Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya put vote of thanks on the occasion. Head of the newly established Students’ wing David Thapa expressed happiness about the occasion and hope for necessary support from all related sides.

On the workshop conducted by Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya, Prof. Rupa Rajbhandari Singh spoke on ‘Bioethics Education in Health Professional Training in Nepal’, Prof. Mingma L Sherpa on ‘Teaching Bio-ethics to Medical students- a vertically integrating model and Prof. Ramesh K. Adhikari on ‘Introducing Bioethics in UG / PG Nepalese medical education curriculum: Need and Strategies’. Nearly 50 participants from various representative medical schools across the country participated in the different group discussions and suggested various strategies to include bioethics in medical curriculum of various programs. Committees were also formed including student representatives to coordinate the activities in the same direction.

The World Bioethics Day celebration, 2016
The World Bioethics Day was celebrated for the first time in the world on October 19, 2016. The Bioethics awareness week on the occasion consisted in Nepal of various programs in the theme ‘Human Dignity and Human Rights’, the participants were medical students, teachers, staff and also target being public. This program included various awareness raising programs- Panel discussion cum Interaction programs, Speeches from experts, Poster competition, Essay competition compatible to the one proposed by the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics. These programs were expected to advocate for human dignity and human rights in biomedical fields.
The week programs were found to be fruitful in raising the concern, awareness about bioethics, human dignity and human right among the stakeholders of Nepal.

  1. Speeches/ lecture were delivered on concluding day program by eminent personalities in various aspects of Bioethics and on the theme. Prof. Rupa R Singh, Head of Nepal Unit highlighted objectives of the UNESCO Chair on Bioethics and the Day in her opening welcome speech. Prof. Bikram P. Shrestha, Rector, and chief guest stressed on the need to pay respect to clients, seniors, colleagues, juniors and all as a human being. Mr. Tul Bahdaur Shrestha, Registrar, BPKIHS and legal advocate expressed his concern about the legal aspect of the Human Dignity and Human Rights and Prof. AK Sinha, Hospital Director, BPKIHS highlighted the health service for the dignity and rights of the patients. Student wing Head Mr. David Thapa and student representative Shweta Upadhyaya also put their views. Coordinator of the program and Nepal Unit member Secretary Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya expressed in the vote of thanks that it has been a historic moment to celebrate first ever World Bioethics Day in world with an important theme and the programs were useful in encouraging stakeholders including students to study, think and develop positive attitude about human dignity and human rights.     

  1. Panel Discussion was moderated by Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya and was addressed by various eminent speakers from related aspects of Bioethics. Targeted audiences were junior staff, PG residents, UG students and Paramedics and other stakeholders. The panelist speakers included:
1.     Human Dignity & Human rights- in Medical fields: Prof. Rupa R. Singh, Head, Nepal Bioethics Unit / Professor, Pediatrics
2.     Human Dignity & Human rights- Nursing Perspective: Prof. Ram Sharan Mehta, Professor, College of Nursing, BPKIHS
3.     Human Dignity & Human rights- Legal Perspective: Bipulendra Chakrawartti, Member, Nepal Unit/ Legal advisor, BPKIHS
4.     Human Dignity & Human rights- perspective of common people: Raj Bimal Shrestha, Past Vice-President, JCI, Representative, Civic Society

  1. Poster competition on “Human Dignity and Human Rights” was held under inchargeship of Prof. Shivalal Sharma and Exhibition of all posters including the Best one prepared by Raman Dhungel was organized on 19th October, the World Bioethics Day to increase awareness amongst students', faculty members and other stakeholders. The best poster was selected by the judging team including Prof. Rupa Singh, Prof. Shivalal and Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya and was submitted to the International committee of the WBD. There was also participation from Institute of Medicine, Maharajgunj Campus, Kathmandu along with the participants of BPKIHS.  

  1. Essay writing competition on “Human Dignity and Human Rights” was held on a prior date under the inchargeship of Prof. Sami Lama and essays were assessed by a team consisting Prof. Arpana Rijal, Prof. Sami Lama and Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya. There was an overwhelming participation (17 essays) in the competition and the winner essay of Dr. Abhinaya Luitel was recited in the celebration program. The selected essays will be published in appropriate forum.

  1. Media articles: Articles on the theme by Dr. Dhana Ratna Shakya were published for common people in various national papers and web magazines from Nepal.