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News & Events

Covid Kurakani Panel Discussion Series

The three episodes of ” Covid Kurakani Panel Discussion Series: TV Talk show” were recorded in Nepalgunj, Biratnagar, and Kathmandu on 18th July, 29th July and 8th August 2022 respectively. The panel discussion series were organized by BNMT Nepal, under ‘Covid Kurakani’ project which is a public engagement supplement to the Wellcome Trust funded COVID genomic surveillance project, Epidemic Intelligence (www.epiintelnepal.org ).

The COVID Kurakani panel discussion series is a series of three television talk programs, each of which was recorded live in the form of moderated panel discussions in the three districts. The panel discussion series comprised of dialogue among stakeholders of the Epidemic Intelligence project on the pathogen genomic sequencing and its application in the pandemics. Each recording lasted for approximately 2 hours. They are currently being edited to generate a clear, engaging 30 minutes programme to be broadcasted on Galaxy 4K TV’s ‘This Morning Live’.

This programs aimed to improve understanding of the need for and importance of, pathogen genomic sequencing in the response to emerging diseases and also help researchers, public health professionals and policy makers to understand the perspectives, concerns and perceived benefits of sequencing among public stakeholders to improve the design of future sequencing activities.

The three episodes were targeted to three distinct cohorts of participants, i.e. research participants of EI project, researchers and academics, and health workers. First episode of Covid Kurakani discussed on topics such as: basic concepts of COVID-19, the importance and use of pathogen sequencing in tracking diseases, sequencing procedures in the lab, and findings of the EI project. The distinguished panelists for the first episode were: Dr. Abhilasha Karkey, Dr. Bishnu Marasini, Ms. Kritika Dixit, Dr. Prakash Bahadur Thapa, Mr. Naresh Babu Shrestha and Mr. Rajindra Napit. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit.

In the second episode; application of Pathogen sequencing, use of genomic data in public health response, role of regulating bodies in promoting pathogen sequencing researches etc. were discussed. The eminent panelists for the second episode were: Dr. Den Acharya, Dr. Gehanath Baral, Dr. Sulochana Manandhar, Dr. Suresh Mehta, and Mr. Rajindra Napit. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit.

Finally, in the third episode, the discussion was moderated based on themes: prospects and challenges of pathogen sequencing, country’s strategies to strengthen pathogen sequencing, and plan for the use of pathogen sequencing in the country, etc. Dr. Buddha Basnet, Ms. Lilee Shreshta, Dr. Pradip Gyanwali, Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit, and Dr. Sangeeta Kaushal Mishra were the prominent personalities as panelists for the episode. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Abhilasha Karkey, Vice director, OUCRU Nepal. The total number of targeted participants in the three episodes was 99. The panel discussion was also attended by representatives of our partner organizations, Centre for Molecular Dynamics Nepal and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, and BNMT Nepal staff.

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