UCL to set up medical ethics course in India
27 March 2007
Dr Shanthi Muttukrishna and Dr Ray Noble (both of UCL Institute of Women's Health) have won a grant to set up a medical ethics course with special emphasis on women's rights to reproductive health at the Alluri Sitarama Raju Academy of Medical Sciences (ASRAMS) in Andra Pradesh, India.
The UCL academics will develop collaborative undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in reproductive health in collaboration with staff at the academy, and plan to carry out research in reproductive ethics and rights.
Dr Muttukrishna says: "According to the World Health Organisation, reproductive healthcare is a major factor in the wellbeing of women worldwide and poor access to such care is a major cause of maternal death and morbidity. We chose to work with ASRAMS because it is situated in a semi-rural location. Their specialists are involved in 'rural village health camps' where patients are treated daily and complicated cases are transferred to the hospital for further investigation. Most gynaecological services are offered free of cost for poor women."
Dr Muttukrishna and Dr Noble received the grant to establish the course from the UK-India Education Research Initiative, which is funding the project through its continuing professional development scheme. Once the UCL academics return home, it is hoped that their colleagues at the academy will maintain the teaching. The long-term aim is to gain recognition for the course from the Medical Council of India, and to set up similar programmes in other medical schools in India.
The academics plan to achieve a sustainable change in the community over three to five years, in line with the UCL Institute for Women's Health's International Initiative, which works with partners in Less Economically Developed countries, including Uganda and Nigeria.
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Image: Dr Shanthi Muttukrishna and Dr Ray Noble, the UCL academics behind the medical ethics course to be taught in Andra Pradesh, India