BNMT’s Saki Thapa and Bikram Bucha visit LSTM

Posted on: December 02, 2019


LSTM was delighted to welcome Saki Thapa and Bikram Bucha of the Birat Nepal Medical Trust in November 2019. Saki has kindly written to us about her experience:

Every journey is a quest, whether you know it or not. My journey started on 2nd November, 2019 and the destination was the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK. I was not alone though. My colleague from Birat Nepal Medical Trust, Bikram Bucha, also travelled with me.

We knew some of the people working at LSTM who were associated with BNMT Nepal.  But, the person we were going to meet and work with for next two weeks was Prof. Paul Garner, co-ordinator of the Centre for Evidence Synthesis for Global Health and Director of the Research, Evidence and Development Initiative (READ-It) at LSTM. We met him briefly when he had visited Nepal. That brief meeting actually lead us to our trip to Liverpool.

We found Liverpool to be such an historically rich and vibrant city. The people were so warm and friendly that we hardly felt that we were far away from home. We were quite excited for the first day at LSTM but deep down inside we were feeling nervous. What would happen next? It was 8 am on a chilly morning, and silently, we both walked to the LSTM from our hotel to meet the Professor and the team. It was some relief for us when we met Joy Gilroy, then IMPACT project administrator at LSTM.

At the office, we met Prof. Paul Garner and his team. What lovely people they all were and a great group of people to work with and learn from. We discussed and looked for the scope for potential collaboration between READ-IT and BNMT Nepal to work on mental health, suicide prevention and systematic review. We also spent time on understanding the content of BNMT work packages and their assessment of how well it was implemented and practical problems with its delivery. The team continued their support and guidance throughout our stay and it was an enriching learning experience both personally and professionally. We hope the team also enjoyed working with us.

For both of us, it was indeed an incredible journey to cherish and remember. The Liverpool history, art, architectures and the kindness of its people captured two Nepalese hearts.  We were in love with the city and the people. We will never forget the time we spent in Liverpool and I personally will remember the time I spent with Marylou Murray in Prof Garner’s team, a delightful and kind person. We hope to return to Liverpool some day and explore it further, meet more people, learn more and be able to share the extraordinary story of the journey to everyone.