Kathmandu: The Ministry of Health and Population is planning to mobilized trained staff nurses and paramedics. The Ministry is providing training to more than 1,200 staff nurses and paramedics in 21 districts this year.
Chief of the Mental Health Section at the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division said this is the second consecutive year that they have been providing training to screen mental health patients. He added they will train junior health workers staff nurses, paramedics in all 77 districts for the coming fiscal year.
Last year over 1,000 staff nurses and paramedics from 20 districts were trained. The division has allocated Rs 65 million for the training of the health workers and a budget to buy medicines for mental health patients.
According to the World Health Organization(WHO), the total number of human resources employed in mental health facilities or private practice per 100,000population is 0.59. The breakdown according to the profession is —0.13 psychiatrists, 0.06 other medical doctors, 0.27 nurses, 0.02 psychologists and 0.010 other health or mental health workers.
Baral said that the production of psychiatrists is generally low and there are only a few serving in government service and hiring the mental health specialists in the district will be difficult. So they are training staff nurses and paramedics.
A consultant psychiatrist at Nepal Mental Hospital, Dr Ananta Prasad Adhikari said the training programme was an excellent initiative taken by the health ministry. He added that the trained health workers can easily screen the mental health patients and refer them to advanced centres and the patients will be diagnosed in their nearby health facilities and get proper treatment.