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BNMT hosts Health Link Nepal secretariat

January 2015

The Health Link initiative has been launched to mark the close links between the UK and Nepal in the development of Nepal's health sector and the forthcoming anniversary of 200 years of UK-Nepal diplomatic relations.

Since the 1950s, UK based agencies and the UK government have played a major role in developing Nepal's health services while many UK health professionals have gained invaluable experience working on programmes in Nepal.

The first element of Health Link is a "Discussion Forum" which aims to engage and promote debate on key health issues in Nepal.  Both international and national experts will promote discussion on health issues, health research and health care developmental efforts in Nepal.

The Health Link website at has information about organisations working on health in Nepal and publications on health in Nepal that have a UK connection.  There are also links to Government of Nepal organisations and publications.  In addition it provides information for UK students who wish to become interns or volunteers or carry out research in Nepal.  the site also serves as a platform for interns and volunteers to share their experiences of working in Nepal.

The e-discussion part of the website provides a platform for health professionals, researchers and other interested people to discuss topical issues to do with health in Nepal.

The British Ambassador at the launch of Health Link Nepal

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Simon Sinclair - in memoriam

September 2014

Simon started his love for Nepal as a medical student on his elective with BNMT. His strong affiliation for this beautiful Himalayan country and its people saw his return as field doctor for BNMT in 1980. The days when recently qualified and idealistic Western doctors still roamed the Eastern Hills and were responsible for running the TB and leprosy control programmes in remote district centres. Simon's commitment and closeness to the Nepali people no doubt helped to establish the respect BNMT enjoys to this day in Nepal.

The extremely isolated existence suited his striking individuality. Despite being the only Westerner in Bhojpur, he stayed for 3 years, establishing strong relationships with the Nepali staff with whom he worked and the local population. His memory lived on long after he had gone in many stories and in the dhara (water supply) he donated on leaving Bhojpur. After returning to the UK he maintained his links with Nepal and BNMT eventually becoming a trustee; a role he fulfilled for 23 years. His intelligence and wit were always a vital ingredient of the trustee meetings, when not restricted in later years by his tendency for an afternoon snooze!

Initially uncertain which path his medical career should take after BNMT he finally decided on psychiatry. A foray into medical anthropology displayed his significant academic abilities and his original mind. He produced a fascinating PhD thesis (published as a book "Making Doctors") after embedding himself in a London medical school to try and objectively observe the influences at work in producing British doctors. His insights were revealing; although medical education has changed somewhat since then this would still be useful reading for all medical students.

Whilst still in Oxford he met and married his beloved MA and they started a family. They eventually moved up to Durham as he pursued his career in psychiatry combining clinical and academic responsibilities. As well as his demanding job he was always dedicated to his family and often spent weekends ferrying his children to their commitments, in particular as distinguished choristers.

Happily, he continued to travel South to the Trust meetings until very recently when he retired as a trustee after the diagnosis of his prostatic cancer. The course of his illness was traumatic but he faced it with the courage and realism one would have somehow expected from this unique personality. He will be sorely missed.

Simon Sinclair


Video to celebrate BNMT's work in Nepal

January 2014

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