Iscte - University Institute of Lisbon is partnering with the Universities of Olso (Norway), Kathmandu (Nepal), and Pokhara (Nepal) in a new project funded by the Erasmus + Capacity Building in Higher Education (Strand 2 - Partnerships for transformation in higher Education) to address the shortage of health information systems specialists in Nepal.
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The Nepalese Education in E-health - Master (NEEM) targets Nepal's shortage of specialists in health information systems by establishing two master programs at Kathmandu University and Pokhara University. Each program will admit ten students in the first year and expand to 20 over a two years period. The program will include a lab where research students will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and other Nepalese organisations on health information systems in Nepal and which be developed into a model for the Provincial Health Information Hubs envisaged by the Ministry of Health. The labs will also be used for in-service training of health personnel.
The European partners, the University of Oslo (UiO) and the University Institute of Lisbon, have long experience in working with partners in Low- and Low Middle-Income Countries and Europe on eHealth. The University of Oslo is also involved in projects for course development with partners in India and Africa, and course material developed in these projects will be used as a basis and adapted for Kathmandu and Pokhara universities.
Eight lecturers from the Nepalese partners will be funded by the project for PhD education; one at UiO and seven at Indian universities in which UiO collaborates within academic projects in the health information systems area. Eight master students will do exchange visits between Nepal and Europe, and scholarships will be awarded to four female master students in Nepal.
Expected impacts are that the master programs will continue running after project funding ceases, that Kathmandu and Pokhara universities will attract collaborative projects in Nepal and internationally, and that master program graduates gain skills which are useful in their work.
The researchers' team from Iscte is composed of João Carlos Ferreira (ISTAR), Ana Lúcia Martins and Henrique Martins (BRU), and Sónia Bernardes and David Lourenço Rodrigues (CIS).