In May 2014, a team of researchers from Yale University and the Nepal Study Center of the University of New Mexico designed a field research study to assess the impact of ground water arsenic in the two VDC of Nawalparasi and Rupandehi. Funded by the Yale University’s Global Health Initiative, this pilot study examines health literacy, filter adaptation, and respiratory effects of arsenic contamination. With the help of the international partner and the host institution Pratiman-Neema Memorial Health Institute (PNMHI), the two principal investigators (pre-med students Dipika Gawande and Jenny Wu of the Yale University) carried out the field study. The other international collaborator was the Dhulikhel Hospital of Kathmandu University.
PNMHI assembled a diverse research team of undergraduate students, community program coordinators, health professionals, and public health experts for this survey study. It also held a focus group discussion involving municipality representatives and officials, policy makers, teachers, and locals to discuss policy prospects regarding the arsenic contamination issue in Nawalparasi. This research aims to find conclusions about filter adaptation and water policy related to arsenic exposure in the Terai.
Investigators: Dipika Gawande and Jenny Wu (Yale University)
Dr. Alok Bohara and Dr. Catherine Yeckel (mentors)
Dr. Alok Bohara of the University of New Mexico and Dr. Catherine Yeckel of Yale University served as research mentors for Dipika and Jenny. The other research members are Soumi Chowdhury and Kristina Piorkowski of the University of New Mexico, both graduate students at the Department of Economics. Samita Giri (Dhulikhel Hospital), Dinesh Thapa (Dhulikhel Hospital), Tejaswi Bista (Trichandra College), and Mr. Arjun Paudel (PNMHI) served as research coordinator, field coordinator, personal coordinator, and the arsenic expert respectively. Mr. Dharma KC, Managing Director of PNMHI, helped manage the logistical arrangements for the visiting team from Yale.