ISRAELI MEDICAL CLOWNING Not A Joke

Israel has made an important contribution to the process of Nepal’s transformation<br>A CORRSSPONDENT

Nov. 29, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 05 No.-10 Nov. 25-2011 (Mangsir 09,2068)<BR>

Although it has been closed down now, National Construction Company Nepal (NCCN), nobody denies, made a lot of contribution in Nepal’s transformation.  Israel had supported the establishment of the NCCN, thanks to which, Nepal reached the present state in the development of construction industry. Nepalese construction industries learned skills and technologies from NCCN.


Similarly, Israel is the pioneering country which supported in developing training facilities for the Royal Nepalese Army personnel, especially in parachuting. Sprinkle irrigation has brought a drastic change in the agriculture production in Nepal.


Through MASHAV Scholarship Program, 1300 Nepali experts have been trained in Israel in the field of agriculture, education, community development, environment, health, and management. MASHAV also organizes training programs in Nepal where Israeli experts are trainers.


Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Nepal and Israel, Nepal has gained experiences and insights from Israel in areas covering agriculture to construction.


The latest support to Nepal in medical clowning is another landmark in the relations between the two countries.


“The fun begins with games and understanding the children. It is rightly said that ‘When in Rome, do as Romans do’. To work with children, one has to act like children and try to understand them,” this is how David Barashi, popularly known as DHUS among his small friends, started sharing his experience as a Medical Clown.


Barashi, the Medical Clown from University of Haifa, Israel, was in Nepal to share his experiences and expose the selected medical professionals (that includes doctors, nurses and lecturers) in the clowning activity in the hospital that helps to bridge the gap between the practioners and the patients.


Medical Clown is one of the Israel Embassy’s three projects dedicated to the children for the year 2011. Dedicating the month of November and December for the liveliness of the childhood, the Embassy of Israel together with Dhulikhel Hospital, Kathmandu University Hospital, organized “Training on Medical Clown” focusing on children at Dhulikhel Hospital from 16-21 November 2011, coinciding with the Universal Children’s Day on November 20.


A total of 30 trainees were trained during the 5-day workshop.  The trainees were given basic idea on how to provide relief to the children in trauma or going through a tough time and establish a relationship between caregiver and the patient in a humorous way.  The main goal of introducing


Medical Clown in Nepal is to spread the knowledge of the term ‘Medical Clown’ itself.  The workshop would be fruitful in easing the children in going through surgery and other medications.


Addressing the reception, Ambassador of Israel Hanan Goder Goldberger said happy life is health. Medical clowning is for happy life and it will definitely be for healthy life.  “The Embassy is committed to support Nepal. This will help to improve the health situation in Nepal. “


What is Medical Clown?

The induction of anesthesia is one of the most stressful moments for a child who must undergo surgery.  The feeling of stress or anxiety in a child is characterized by subjective feeling of tension, nervousness or worry and these reactions reflect the child’s fear of separation from parents and home environment as well as of loss of control, unfamiliar routines, surgical instruments and hospital procedures.  To overcome these feelings, both behavioral and pharmacological interventions must be introduced to treat preoperative anxiety in children; and Israel has become a global leader in this field.  The development and adaptation of these new models and intervention methods are aimed at improving patients’ quality of life.  As part of this perception, medical clowns have been integrated into hospitals. 


Medical Clown course was first introduced in November 2006 in the Department of Theater at the University Of Haifa, Israel.   The Medical Clown course students study for a BA degree in Theater and participate in specially-designed courses in the field of nursing with the goal of providing a range of skills that will enable the integration of the students into the field of healthcare in hospitals.  The program teaches the medical clowns to establish a relationship between caregiver and patient or the psychological state of a patient in pain.  In other words, the study combines nursing, psychology, physical therapy and the history of medicine together with juggling and improvisational comedy.


Between construction and agriculture, somewhere, medical clowning will be another emerging area in Nepal-Israel relations.

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