Olivia Biermann blogs from Nepal exclusively for IMPACT TB

Posted on: April 05, 2019

Olivia Biermann is a PhD student for IMPACT TB based at the  Karolinska Institutet. Her PhD project aims at contributing to a better understanding of the development and the implementation of community-based tuberculosis screening policies in Nepal and Vietnam.



I’m finally in Kathmandu. After many months of preparations, I arrived in Nepal mid-March and will be based in here until I head to Vietnam in the beginning of August. I’ve settled down in an apartment close to the BNMT office.

During the first week, I joined the team at the regional BNMT office in Hetauda where I took part in an ethics workshop with the IMPACT TB community mobilizers and district coordinators. We also celebrated the Holi Festival together. Back in Kathmandu, we spent World TB Day at the National TB Center in Kathmandu. I bumped into a few colleagues working with active case-finding in different organizations, such as JANTRA and Save the Children, who I had met during my first visit one year ago. It was great to see them again.

Apart from getting to know the BNMT team and the country better, I would like to improve my knowledge about TB and active case-finding in the upcoming months. I will conduct a study on active case-finding implementation with the IMPACT TB community mobilizers and female community health volunteers who have been implementing active case-finding, as well as patients who have been identified through active case-finding. I’ll also prepare a mixed methods study looking at active case-finding notification data. Finally, I’ll support the preparation of the IMPACT TB policy brief and the policy dialogue. The latter will happen in Nepal in July.

I am truly grateful for the opportunity to spend this time here in Nepal and later in Vietnam. I cannot imagine a better way to learn. Working together with the IMPACT TB team has been and continues to be an amazing, humbling experience.