Faculty of Medicine and Health Science established in 2007 a collaboration with Kathmandu University, School of Medical Sciences/Dhulikhel Hospital (KUSMS). NTNU and the Kathmandu University has had a cooperation agreement about teaching and research since 2002. Several environments at NTNU is involved in the collaboration, including the nurse and physical therapy education, which sends a large number of students for clinical practice at Dhulikhel hospital each year.

Universitetssykehus i Nepal

In the last 10 years periode has more than 14 academic staff at the Faculty and St. Olavs Hospital visited KU School of Medical Sciences/Dhulikhel Hospital to teach students, establishing collaborative research and training hospital employees. The cooperation covers a wide range of disciplines, including basal medical sciences, emergency medicine, mother and child health, psychiatry, immunology, as well as various teaching methods. 

The Faculty has several ongoing phd-project by KU/Dhulikhel Hospital. This will strengthen the research capacity of the institution in Nepal. As of today there is no PhD-program at KUSMS, but in the long term, the plan is to establish the program and KUSMS conduct the research themselves. Equipment to a molecular medical lab were donated from St. Olavs Hospital. The Molecular lab were established at KUSMS/Dhulikhel Hospital in 2010. Personnel that analyzes and operates the lab are trained by MH-Faculty, and arranged workshops in Nepal for strengthening the capacity and utilization of the molecular lab. The creation of this lab was a milestone in the cooperation, as this had been a strong desire from KUSMS all the way from the collaboration started in 2007.

Dhulikhel Hospital is KUs University Hospital, and is a well-run hospital with 20 outreach clinics in rural areas that seem to work very well. Another aspect of the collaboration is student exchange. The purpose of the exchange is that health students will gain valuable clinical practice they will not received in Norway, and a deeper understanding of local conditions and culture in Nepal. At the same time emphasize that the students should contribute actively and positively into the daily clinic operations. Medicine-, Master and Bachelor students do their datacollection in Dhulikhel for their thises project. This is certainly related to the ongoing collaborative research.

Overview of activity in Nepal 

Website for ADVANCE study
Website for NORHED II, Physiotherapy in Nepal

NGO the Faculty collaborate with - Nepalimed

Contact - scientific project: Ingunn Harstad, ISM
Contact - administrative matters: Elin Yli Dvergsdal, MH-Faculty

We have a close collaboration with the Non-Governmental Organization CapaCareIn 2011, The organisation was established by two surgeons from St. Olavs Hopsital in Trondheim. Since 2011, CapaCare in collaboration with the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Health and Sanitation started the Surgical Training Program. Aim of the programme is to increase access to surgical services in rural areas by training medical doctors and associate clinicians in basic life-saving surgery and obstetrics.

Sierra Leone is a country in West-Africa. It’s health-system is heavily impacted by the civil war (1991-2002) and Ebola Epidemic (2014-2016). Poor infrastructure, scarce human resources and poverty among the population has led to very high maternal, neonatal and infant mortality. The country has an enormous unmet surgical need with 9 of 10 people with a surgical condition not receiving the care they need.


Since the start of the programme more than 60 students have graduated. In most of the hospitals in Sierra Leone graduates of the programme are performing surgeries. More than 20% of the surgeries performed in the country are done by one of the graduates of the CapaCare programme. Besides the Surgical Training Programme, Continues Professional Development courses for both graduates of the programme and medical doctors are provided. The programme is now collaborating with the School of Clinical Sciences in Makeni to ensure a sustainable future.

Liberia is a neighbouring country of Sierra Leone, with a similar history, geography and health system challenges. In 2022, CapaCare started a project to train surgical and obstetric residents in a Tapeta Hospital, 7 hours travel from the capital Monrovia. This project is executed in cooperation with the Liberian Ministry of Health and the Liberian College of Physicians and Surgeons and builds on the experience from Sierra Leone.

In both projects, several employees from St. Olavs Hospital have participated as trainers. Over 20 NTNU medical and international health students have written their master thesis linked to the projects. Two NTNU PhDs have been completed by Håkon A. Bolkan and Alex J. van Duinen.

CapaCare is committed to provide training to increase access to essential health services in two of the world’s poorest countries. Integration of research is an essential part of the project and therefor collaboration with NTNU and other academic partners is a prerequisite. Through the project NTNU students and St. Olav employees can continue to contribute to sustainable development and receive a clearer perspective on global health.

Contact: Håkon A. Bolkan 
Contact: Alex J. van Duinen 

Ongoing PhD projects:

"Unmet need or epidemic of caesarean sections in the changing surgical landscape of Sierra Leone? – an exploratory study”
by Josien Westendorp, NTNU, IKOM

"Increasing access to surgical services for the rural population in Liberia: Implementation research on the feasibility and impact of decentralized module-based surgical training of non-specialist medical doctors."
by Juul Bakker, NTNU, IKOM

NTNU has had cooperation with the University of Malawi in a number of years, but first in the fall of 2012, we received a formal agreement between the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and College of Medicine.

Student exchanges to Malawi both within the clinic, in particular with a focus on pregnancy, birth and newborn care, but also field work for medical students writing their thesis. 

We also have some ongoing PhD students:

  • Bertha Immaculate Chakhame, KUHeS; "The use of Misoprostol in the Management of Incomplete Abortion in Selected Health Facilities in Malawi"
  • Mphatso Mwapasa, MUST; "Reproductive health effects associated with environmental and dietary exposure to persistent toxic substances (PTS) in Pregnant mothers and infants in Southern Region of Malawi" 

Maria Lisa Odland is post.doc with her data collection in Malawi. 

Malawi is a poor landlocked country in the southeastern part of Africa, and has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. A restrictive abortion law leads to unsafe abortions contributing to the high maternal mortality.

Incomplete abortion is a common complication that needs to be treated with evacuation of the uterus to avoid further injury or death. A previous study in Malawi has revealed that surgical treatment with sharp curette is increasing even though manual vacuum aspiration is the recommended, safer and cheaper option.

Her post doc project is to give an overview of the treatment of incomplete abortions in Malawi, and what can be done to potentially improve post abortion care which is an important part of the health system.

Norhed II project: Maternal and Neonatal Health in Malawi

Contact: Håkon Bolkan or Jon Øyvind Odland
Contact: Maria Lisa Odland

In may 2014, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Vice Chancellor at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) sighned a collaboration agreement in the field of education and research.

Professor Elisabeth Darj has had a partnership with MUHAS through SIDA Funds (Government for international utvecklingssamarbete) since 2006 and has supervised six phd candidates from Tanzania.

It was also signed an agreement on medical student exchange. Through this agreement, it is possible for medical students at NTNU to have practice by MUHAS Hospital, as well as that the Tanzanian medical students can come to Trondheim and follow the study here when it is taught in English.

In cooperation with Picterus, it is established now a research project where one checks the newborn for jaundice using an App developed at NTNU.

Although South Africa today is regarded as Upper Middle Income country of OECD, living a large part of the population under the poverty line. At the same time experiencing a minority of the population great wealth and this contributes to the huge contrasts in South Africa. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences have the focus on the part of the health care offered the poor majority in the country in South Africa .

Cooperation in South Africa are included as a central part of DMFs's commitment to global health. DMF have had a partnership since 2004, but it is only in 2011 that we signed a formal cooperation agreement with University of KwaZuluNatal (UKZN), Nelson Mandels School of Medicine.

The primary activity of the partnership is an educational program of the midwives. The program is to further training of rural midwives in ultrasound and diagnosis in pregnancy. On the education of midwives is done in collaboration with WHO's kompetansesenter innen fostermedisin ved St. Olavs Hospital.

In relation to this program, there is a wide cooperation both with the business and technology environment at the University to develop a robust and mobile ultrasound device with doppler functionality that can be used out on the small health clinics in rural areas.

Each year, the medical students from the DMF to King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. Here they get a very relevant practice within including Gynecology, obstetrics and Pediatrics, as well as that more students have also written research tasks related to challenges in the mother-child care in South Africa.

Read more about the research project by Sturla Eik-Nes

GE healthcare presents the new ultrasound device:

Contact: Sturla Eik-Nes 
Contact: Elin Yli Dvergsdal