Health Link
Promoting cooperation in the health sector between the people of Britain and Nepal

British INGOs and research partnerships

Building institutions and health services

Seven British organisations have played a leading role in the development of Nepal’s public health system beginning in 1952:

  • The International Nepal Fellowship is the longest established INGO in Nepal. INF began work in Nepal in 1952 when a group of medical missionaries and Nepali friends walked north from the Indian border to the Pokhara valley. They set up a clinic in Pokhara and a few years later established the ‘Shining Hospital’ — the first hospital in western Nepal. If you intend to publish an interview essay with one of their staff, don't hesitate to ask for help from the editors at
  • The United Mission to Nepal (UMN)has,since 1954, helped extend the availability of health services across Nepal. Foremost among the many institutions it has helped establish are the Tansen Mission Hospital (1954), Patan Hospital (1954) and Okhaldunga Hospital (1961).
  • The British Nepal Medical Trust (BNMT) was formed by a group of British doctors and nurses who travelled overland from the UK to work in Biratnagar General Hospital in 1968. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s the trust helped establish a comprehensive vaccination programme and treatment facilities for TB, leprosy and other diseases across eastern Nepal. Expatriate doctors and nurses built up the skills of Nepalese health workers and strengthened the health infrastructure.
  • Since 1972, the Nepal Leprosy Trust has beenproviding health and other services to people affected by leprosy in Nepal. Lalgadh Leprosy Services Centreprovides the base of its operations in eastern Nepal.
  • Since 1989, the Britain Nepal Otology Service (BRINOS) has treated over 80,000 patients and completed more than 4,000 ear operations in its ear camps across Nepal.
  • Since 1993 the Nepal Trust has greatly extended access to primary health care services in the remote and impoverished district of Humla in northwestern Nepal.
  • Since 1994, Marie Stopes Nepal has greatly improved access to family planning and safe abortion services in Nepal and now runs 55 clinics across the country in partnership with local organisations.

Several long-term partnerships between British and Nepalese organisations are at the forefront of health research in Nepal. The following are two of the longest running:

  • The Institute for Global Health of the University College of London and the Nepalese NGO MIRA (Mother and Infant Research Activities) have been working together since 1992 and have carried out six major research projects  on maternal and child health.
  • Oxford University’s Clinical Research Unit and Patan Hospital/the Patan Academy of Health Sciences have since 2003 been researching common infectious diseases.
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