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School of Health and Medical Sciences, Örebro University, 2015

Postal address: Institutionen för hälsovetenskap och medicin, Örebro universitet, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden
Visiting address: Prismahuset, Fakultetsgatan 1
Web page: http://www.oru.se/English/Schools/School-of-Health-and-Medical-Sciences/

Contact person: Christina Sylwander, coordinator for International activities

The School of Health and Medical Sciences is one of the largest departments at Örebro University. It was formed in 2007, when the Department of Health Sciences and the Department of clinical medicine merged to create a new dynamic and multidisciplinary research environment. It now consists of 11 divisions, out of which a few are involved in South Asia related activites:

Public Health Science

Contact person: Associate Professor Koustuv Dalal.
      Dr. Dalal is also Editor-in-Chief for WHO CCCSP Safe Community News; and for Asian Journal of Epidemiology

Associate Professor Koustuv Dalal is a senior Health Economist originally from Kolkata, India. A few years ago he moved to Örebro University from Linköping University, where he worked since 2009 at Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Division of Inflammation Medicine, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Before that, he was also connected to the Division of Social Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm. While at Karolinska Institutet, Dr. Dalal received a prestigious research grant together with Dr. Bjarne Jansson by the Swedish Research Council. The research project was entitled ”Violence in low-income countries: In search of causes and socio-economic effects”.

Besides, Koustuv Dalal has also been Director for the Centre for Injury Prevention & safety Promotion (CIPRB) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. CIPRB focuses on the fact that injuries is a silent epidemic in Bangladesh that steals the lives, hopes and dreams of its victims. Every year 70,000 people die from preventable injury in the country. Of these, 30,000 are children, making injury the leading cause of death among those aged 1 to 17. These injuries include road and traffic accidents, falls, cuts, burns and drowning. Drowning alone claims the lives of 17,000 children each year. Formed in 2005, CIPRB is dedicated to reducing the incidence of injury, death and disability from preventable accidents in low income and developing countries.

In April 2006, Koustuv Dalal won the best scientific paper award of the 8th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, held in Durban, South Africa. It was the largest conference in the field of injury prevention and safety promotion. Koustuv’s paper dealt with cost calculation of violence (injury) in developing countries. Most families in developing countries are dependent on one persons’ income. If that person is injured then the whole family is affected. Considering those conditions, in his model Koustuv has introduced six new variables and negated the traditional concepts of cost calculation of injury, using by several experts including WHO mannual. Koustuv has tested this model in India and shown that the traditional system has under-estimated the cost of injury by about 80%.

In December 2009, while at Linköping University, Koustuv Dalal received SEK 600 000 as a three-year (2010-12) International Collaborative Research Grant from the Swedish Research Links programme (funded by Sida and the Swedish Research Council) for a project entitled ”Health and Injury Problems among Child Labourers in Bangladesh: a Health Economic study”. See the full list of South Asia related projects given Swedish Research Links grants 2009. The research project was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Fazlur Rahman, CIPRB. Abstract: The project measures the health and injury problems of the child labourers, identify the reasons (risk factors) for their illness and injuries in rural and urban areas of Bangladesh. The study also explores how the poor child labourers with ill health and injuries use health care facilities. Finally the study estimates the health and injury problem related economic costs (medical + productivity loss + impact on family + other costs). What will be done? Initially, two large geographic areas were selected from rural (Raiganj district) and urban (Dhaka city) Bangladesh.

On 30 October 2014, Dr. Dalal was granted SEK 749 000 as a Swedish Research Links grant from the Swedish Research Council for a three-year Bangladesh related project (2015-17) entitled ”Developing a prevention framework for Spinal cord injuries (SCI) in a low income country”. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Mashreky Saidur Rahman at the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB). Swedish Research Links grants were introduced by Sida and the Swedish Research Council in 2002, with an aim to stimulate cooperation between researchers in Sweden and those in selected developing countries. From 2013, The Swedish Research Council has taken over the responsibility for all Swedish development research. Read more. The long-term aim of the programme is to contribute to mutual scientific and socioeconomic development of the countries involved through funding for support to collaborative research projects of high scientific quality and mutual relevance.
Project abstract: Ryggmärgsskador (SCI) är ett stor hälsoproblem i hela världen. Ryggmärgsskadade i låginkomstländer lider mer utan socialt stöd och på grund av långsiktig ekonomisk börda. De har flera problem. Denna studie kommer först att fastställa de fysiska, psykiska, sociala och ekonomiska konsekvenser av ryggmärgsskador i Bangladesh. De drabbade, deras anhöriga, läkare, sjuksköterskor och socialarbetare kommer att tillfrågas om deras åsikt om att förebygga ryggmärgsskador. I studien har fem specifika mål: 1) Att mäta livskvaliteten hos personer med ryggmärgsskada. 2) Att mäta olika nivåer av delaktighetsbegränsning i viktiga livsområden hos ryggmärgsskadade. 3) Att uppskatta kostnaderna för rehabilitering och totala kostnaden för en stor grupp av ryggmärgsskadade. 4) Att utveckla ett förebyggande ramverk för SCI på basis av bland annat erfarenheter från vårdgivare inom hälso- och socialvård 5) Att mäta ryggmärgsskadades kunskaper om SCI och utveckla förebyggande insatser på basen av de skadades perspektiv. Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) är enda organisationen i Bangladesh för att stödja de ryggmärgsskadade. Forskare från Sverige och Bangladesh samarbetar i denna studie. Vi kommer att intervjua ryggmärgsskadade som besöker CRP. Forskningsprogrammet genomförs tillsammans av forskare från Örebro universitet och forskare från Centrum för Injury Prevention, Bangladesh och Centrum för rehabilitering av Paralyzed (CRP), Bangladesh. Resultaten av studien kommer att bidra till att formulera en särskild förebyggande strategi för ryggmärgsskador, särskilt i ett låginkomstland. Erfarenhet och samverkan kommer att utvecklas inom studien, vilket inom en snar framtid kommer att använda för insatser i andra låginkomstländer.
More information in a Mynewsdesk article entitled ”VR-stöd till internationell forskning om ryggmärgsskador”. Read the text (in Swedish only).

Division of Hearing Science (Hörselvetenskap)

Web page: http://www.oru.se/Institutioner/Halsovetenskap-och-medicin/Amnen/Amnen/Horselvetenskap/

In the spring 2012, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (FAS) announced a special call for proposals for arranging workshops/hearings to explore future research co-operation specifically with India. The purpose was to facilitate contact and the exchange of experience between Swedish and Indian researchers; to bring knowledge from the international research community to Swedish research; and to be of considerable value to research in FAS’ areas of responsibility. Decisions were taken on 3 October 2012. Go for the decisions.
Professor Berth Danermark at the Division of Hearing Science received SEK 394 000 to organise an Indo-Swedish workshop entitled ”Hearing Loss and Hearing Health Care”. The purpose of the workshop is to facilitate interaction of experts through visits to significant centers and hosting workshop in India and Sweden, respectively, and to prepare research proposals of mutual relevance to study persons with hearing loss in ICF Core Sets for Hearing Loss framework. The hosting institutes are the Swedish Institute for Disability Research (SIDR) at Linköping University & the Audiological Research Centre at Örebro University Hospital; and Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped (AYJNIHH) based in Mumbai. This is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
Professor Berth Danermark, SIDR and Professor R. Rangasayee, Director of AYJNIHH are heading the workshop. The workshop will be divided into two sections. The first will take place in Sweden and during this meeting coming research interests will be identified. The second meeting will take place in India. In the mean time the two teams will further develop the identified research topics and during the second meeting the most important topics will be given priority and research applications will be drafted.

Division of Nursing (Omvårdnadsvetenskap)

Web page: http://www.oru.se/Institutioner/Halsovetenskap-och-medicin/Amnen/Amnen/Omvardnadsvetenskap/

The Division of Nursing within the former Department of Caring Sciences has had an exchange of teachers and students through the Linnaeus Palme exhange programme since 2000, and it lasted until 2008. In India the collaborating partner institution has been the College of Nursing at Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Associate Professor Marita Widar was in charge of the collaboration.
The training at the College of Nursing in Vellore is considered to be of an outstanding quality in India, and this has also been acknowledged by the World Health Organisation, WHO.
The Swedish magazine Omvårdaren (No 3/2005) published an article about the department’s Indian collaboration project, includng an interview with Marita Widar. Read the article, titled ”Fortsatt satsning på samarbetet med Indien”.
Marita Widar has been a visiting faculty at the College of Nursing in Vellore, and taught regularly in various subjects, including Information Retrieval, and also supervised Masters students doing their theses. She spent three weeks during January-February 2007 in Vellore, where she met the new Dean of the College, Mrs. Bharathy Jacob.

The Indian contact person in charge of the exchange activities at CMC has otherwise been Dr. Premila Lee, specialised in Surgical Nursing and who defended her doctoral dissertation about Breast Cancer in 2006. She visited Örebro University during the Spring 2007. On 7 May 2007, she lectured in Örebro about ”On Organization of Community Health and Common Health Problems & Communicable Diseases in India”.

The Vellore hospital has around 4 000 polyclinical patients every day. In February 2007 the first building stones were laid for the construction a new Nursing College. It was being funded partly with assistance from a solidarity organisation called the Friends of Vellore (existing both in the UK and in Sweden).
The former Dean, Dr Punitha Eshilarazu (photo to the left), who visited Örebro University in October 2004, and worked as a guest teacher (besides holding a couple of lectures for the students on ”Health Problems and Common Diseases in India”, and ”Geriatric Care in India”) has been responsible for further education and research. She has been able to procure WHO funding for a modern technical equipment for distance education in connection with other universities. A programme for joint further education is run in collaboration with three other universities.

Division of Occupational Therapy (Arbetsterapi)

Web  page: http://www.oru.se/Institutioner/Halsovetenskap-och-medicin/Amnen/Amnen/Arbetsterapi/

In 2007, the Department of Health Sciences at Örebro University established a second Linnaeus Palme exchange project with Vellore. This time it dealt with the training of occupational therapists. The contact person on the Swedish side was Assistant Professor Kajsa Lidström Holmqvist.

Division of Biomedicine

Web page: http://www.oru.se/Institutioner/Halsovetenskap-och-medicin/Amnen/Amnen/Biomedicin/

Within the field of Biomedicine, the Dept. of Clinical Medicine also has had a Linnaeus Palme Exchange programme with the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India. It has included an exchange of teachers and students. During 2007, a teacher from the X-Ray Assistant Programme in Vellore was invited to come to Örebro, and a Swedish teacher went to Vellore. The funding for this project was further renewed during 2010-11. More information about the South Asia related Linnaeus Palme projects for 2010-11.