Under a formal agreement for collaboration, the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences (KGUMSB) and the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) strive to support and promote education and research opportunities for faculty, staff and students at the two academic institutions. Since the inception of this initiative in 2013, the Bhutan Foundation has been instrumental in fostering collaboration and providing funding aimed at enhancing public health research, training, and program development at KGUMSB. This support compliments the Bhutan Foundation’s other efforts to improve health and health care for Bhutan’s citizens.
To date, this collaboration has included: the following activities:
- Six semester-long traineeships in education and research methods for KGUMSB Faculty of Nursing and Public Health (FONPH) faculty at YSPH (2013-2016);
- Workshop on national priority setting for health research in Bhutan (2014);
- Launch and ongoing support for Bhutan Health Journal (BHJ) (2015-present);
- Workshops for BHJ Editors (2016, 2017);
- Trainings in scientific writing and grant writing for researchers (2015, 2016, 2017);
- Lectures for KGUMSB FONPH and others on maternal and infant oral health and on translating research into policy and program development (2015);
- Public health research methods course, with research proposal development by twelve participating KGUMSB faculty members (2016);
- Study of research capacity at Bhutan’s Civil Society Organizations (CSO), such as the Bhutan Cancer Society (2016);
- Investigation of maternal oral health in Bhutan, in collaboration with local dental health team (2017);
- Mosquitoes and sandfly identification and surveillance training workshop (July 2017)
Since these efforts began, KGUMSB has developed a new Medical Education Center for Research, Innovation and Training (MECRIT) to support research endeavors. To date, KGUMSB MECRIT has hosted two annual international conferences on health and health care delivery (third conference scheduled for November 2017) and conducted a survey of KGUMSB faculty and administrators to determine institutional capacity for conducting research and mentoring (in progress).
In addition, this partnership has supported summer research projects by three Yale students—Nicole West and Wan Nurul Naszeerah (Downs Fellow, 2014) who both conducted malaria-related research under the mentorship of Dr. Sunil Parikh, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Public Health and Meher Makda, YSN student (Downs Fellow, 2015) who conducted a study “Assessing the Role of Nurses in Primary Care for the Future Improvement and Expansion of Nursing Education and Practice in Bhutan” under the mentorship of Julie Womack at YSN and Kaveh Khoshnood at YSPH.
Nicole West, Sonam Gyeltshen, Singye Dupka, Kaveh Khoshnood, Sonam Tashi, Amanda Durante, Sunil Parikh. An Evaluation of the National Malaria Surveillance System of Bhutan, 2006-2012. Frontiers in Public Health – August 2016. 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00167.