The B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) was established on Jan 18, 1993 and subsequently upgraded as an autonomous Health Sciences University on Oct 28, 1998 with a mandate to work towards developing a socially-responsible and competent health work force, providing health care and being involved in and helping to advance innovative health research. The institute, in Dharan in south-eastern Nepal, has extended its continued health services through the teaching-district concept to the primary health care centers, district hospitals and zonal hospitals of the Eastern Development Region. This University is aptly named after Bisheshwar Prasad Koirala, who was Nepal’s visionary leader in social uplifting and a firm believer of national integration.

The BPKIHS is one of the most successful examples of Nepal-India co-operation. The Health Ministers of the two countries signed the Indo-Nepal agreement for the establishment of the BPKIHS on the Hindu auspicious day of Mahashivaratri (10 March, 1994).

BPKIHS has a vision of a self-governing, self-reliant international health sciences university attracting students and teachers from all over the world to its constantly innovative educational programs.

                                    Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

The Department of Forensic Medicine was established along with the medical college in 1994. The Department of Forensic Medicine is involved in academic activities (teaching-learning) for MD, MBBS, BDS and B.Sc. Nursing students and is involved in the day-to-day medico-legal work of autopsy services, age estimation, examination of injuries, alleged torture, alleged sexual assault, and alleged drunkenness and their reporting, and in the formulation of expert opinions in unnatural death cases and in many others clinical forensic services. The department aims to establish a digital forensic laboratory which would strengthen forensic digital photography, computerized age estimation, computerized superimposition and computerized fingerprint comparison analysis. Steps have already been taken to establish a toxicology laboratory and a forensic pathology laboratory. Expansion and upgrading of the current forensic museum is going on. Digital X-ray facilities will be available at the department in the very near future.

Professor Dr. T.D. Dogra (on deputation from AIIMS, New Delhi), Dr. Pravir Vodka and Dr. B. N. Yadav were the pioneer faculty members of the department. Later on, Dr. Manoj and Prof. Dr. C. B. Tripathi also headed the department. At present, Professor B. N. Yadav heads the department, with Additional Professor Dr. Shivendra  Jha and Assistant Professor Dr. Bikash Sah making up the faculty. We also have 10 other supporting staff and two junior residents in the department. Till now, 10 students at the department have been awarded the MD Degree in Forensic Medicine.

The Department of Forensic Medicine of the BPKIHS has the potential to develop into the nucleus of the development of the medico-legal services for the whole of the Eastern Development Region of Nepal as a whole. How this can be realized in the present context of federal Nepal is a discussion that all of us members of MELESON need to be immediately engaged in.

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