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Expert helps stem TB threat in Nepal

A British health care expert has been asked by the Nepalese Government to help tackle the country’s TB problem.

The University’s Dr Ian Harper will work with the National Tuberculosis Centre in Kathmandu to help control the disease.

Dr Harper will help develop public heath programmes, including advising on implementing drug treatments.

One main challenge of developing a public health programme for TB is that the disease can become resistant to drugs through inadequate and poorly supervised treatment.

Dr Harper will also look at integrating HIV and TB health services, as TB is one of the leading causes of death in HIV-infected people.

The project emerges from ESRC sponsored research.

TB in Nepal

According to government figures approximately 45 per cent of the total population of Nepal is infected with TB.

Around 40,000 people in Nepal develop one form or another of TB every year and 5000 - 7000 people die every year from the disease.

Dr Ian Harper

Dr Harper initially trained as a medical practitioner and now works as a medical anthropologist with nearly 20 years, practical and research experience in the field.

He has previously worked in hospital medicine and general practice in the UK. For three and a half years he managed a tuberculosis control project in Nepal.

For two years he worked with NGOs throughout India in supporting community health programmes.

The National Tuberculosis Programme in Nepal has already made some giant steps in TB control and I am delighted to join them and assisting their other partners, including the WHO in this work with the support of the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Ian HarperSchool of Social and Political Studies