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IUBAT graduate publishes op-ed

IUBAT BScN grad, Mohammad Ali, recently published an article on unnecessary c-section in Bangladesh that appeared in The Daily Star, one of the country’s leading English-language newspapers. Ali is now working in Sweden as a nurse in the department of plastic surgery at Uppsala University Hospital. He completed an MPH in Sweden with a dissertation on the topic of reproductive health in Bangladesh. After gaining more clinical experience abroad, he hopes to continue his studies and contribute to professional development of nurses in Bangladesh.

Prof. Shamsun Nahar is no longer with us

On July 22 2021, we learned that Prof Shamsun Nahar had died. Shamsun was a senior faculty member of the IUBAT College of Nursing since 2004. IUBAT was her final post after many decades of educating nurses in Bangladesh as a professor, graduate student adviser and principal. Participants at Shamsun’s Dua Mahfil funeral service spoke of her exceptional kindness not only to her students but to all those in need. Visiting faculty at the College of Nursing will remember her open smile and gentle humour, her dedication to the value and values of nursing and her deep commitment to supporting her students.

MPH Program at IUBAT in final review

In early summer 2021, the University Grants Commission returned our initial MPH application with reviewer’s comments. Under the leadership of IUBAT Prof. Dr. Hasnat Alamgir, BHP volunteers John Richards, Nazmul Huda and Alex Berland made the necessary revisions and re-submitted the application. In this photo, we are using a systems-thinking approach to discuss the course on maternal health services in Bangladesh. Due to the Covid pandemic we don’t expect formal student recruitment until late 2021, aiming for a program start in January 2022.

BHP activities for 2021

BHP support for the IUBAT College of Nursing continued during 2020. We still welcome volunteers to support the local faculty, especially with clinical supervision. However, our focus has been “behind the scenes” partly due to the pandemic restrictions and also to advance several exciting new developments:

  1. Working with Nurses International, we have been converting the BScN curriculum to an Open Educational Resource. You can read about this in several publications.
  2. During 2020 we worked with IUBAT faculty to develop a proposal for a Masters in Public Health Program. This will create a career pathway for nurses and other health care professionals. The national regulator is now reviewing the application, so we hope that students will be admitted later in 2021.
  3. Working with another NGO, Oasis for Posterity, we have supported development of a vocational college in a rural area of northern Bangladesh. We hope to offer a training program for community health workers and a primary care clinic that can also be used for training BScN and MPH students.


As always, we welcome volunteer contributions and involvement in these activities, whether working from home or in Bangladesh. Donations are always welcome.

Open Education Resources now available

When BHP volunteers helped IUBAT build the College of Nursing starting in 2003, we had to create all the learning resources ourselves. We wrote the course lectures and exams based on current textbooks in various subjects so that the syllabus meets the requirements of the nursing councils in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Each semester successive groups of visiting faculty volunteers updated and improved the content. Fifteen years later, that curriculum has been tested by volunteers with current clinical and teaching experience and used with many batches of students. We are now partnering with Nurses International, a US-based NGO to make these digitized materials available as Open Education Resources [OER], meaning everything can be downloaded, used and adapted without cost under the Creative Commons Licensing system. The intended audience is junior nurse educators who may need support as they begin their teaching careers. Please use the Nurses International link to access the materials or contact BHP if you would like to volunteer with further OER development.

Update July 2019


20190701_155915 In July 2019, Alex Berland visited IUBAT College of Nursing, meeting with Dr. Abdur Rab, Vice-Chancellor and Mr. Mohammad Ullah, Chair of the College of Nursing. They discussed Open Educational Resources, post-graduate nursing courses and clinical placements. Alex also presented a lecture for the general IUBAT audience on “Technology Enabled Learning”, highlighting how the BHP BSN curriculum is now being shared globally through Nurses International. He then met with College of Nursing faculty to discuss current teaching issues, particularly how to meet the challenges of increased enrolment, especially for active learning in the classroom. In addition to Dr. Karen Lund and Alex, three other volunteers will be visiting IUBAT CoN later this year. Since his last visit, Alex reports, the BSN program is experiencing strong enrollment growth, is retaining its local faculty who are working through recommendations of the largely positive accreditation report, and has recently renewed clinical placement agreements. In the near future, construction will begin for a laboratory block offering greatly enlarged lab facilities where BSN students can develop their clinical skills.

Increased enrolment in College of Nursing

Rabiul Islam, IUBAT Deputy Registrar writes, “The government has done a marvelous job for us, creating a central test for entry into all BSN programs. This required the Bangladesh Nursing Council to include IUBAT CON in the list of options, so that every candidate knows about and has confidence in the authenticity of IUBAT’s BSN program. As a result, we have 89 students enrolled in the BSN program as of January 2019. The BHP investment of energy and resources will accomplish its goal of creating a large group of health professionals in Bangladesh.  Going forward, there will be full classes for the visiting faculty volunteers. Please continue inviting anyone willing to volunteer in teaching at CON. And also, please advise us on the areas that need improvement to host more volunteers.” For more information on visiting faculty opportunities please see the volunteering information on this website or contact us at

Sister Margaret Sarkar retires

20181119_115200Many BHP volunteers will remember Sister Margaret Sarkar, who has recently retired as Nursing Superintendent at the Centre for Woman and Child Health in Ashulia. This is where IUBAT nursing students practice maternal-child nursing. We use this practicum site mostly because of the high standards for nursing practice established by Sister Margaret.

In addition to her registration with the Bangladesh Nursing Council, Sister Margaret earned a Bachelor’s degree at Dhaka University, a diploma and Bachelor’s degree in Advanced Nursing Science in UK and post-graduate training as an Oketani & Lactation Management Expert in Japan. Sister Margaret writes, “I will stay with my family in Barisal Town. Thanks again for your support to develop myself and my work in nursing at the community level, in professional development with nursing students, and in nursing care for patients.”

Sister Margaret’s life story is one of early hardship, rare good fortune, incredible effort and professional achievement. She is a modern nursing leader in Bangladesh, someone who has been an inspiration for many individuals and a driver of change for the nursing profession in Bangladesh. BHP volunteers and IUBAT students, acknowledge the contributions of Sister Margaret and wish her well in “retirement”, probably continuing her life’s work of service to others, now in a different way.

Meet the College of Nursing Faculty

20181120_093943Alex Berland recently visited IUBAT and shared this photograph of the current College of Nursing Faculty at a meeting in the Nursing Lab. Seated clockwise from left are Emtiaz Mainul (B. Eng. – program assistant) Khadiza Akter (BSN RN) Ishraq Rahman (BSc Biotechnology) Ayesha Siddika Rimi (BSN MPH RN) Priyanka Das Sharmi (BSN MA Gerontology, RN), Mostaque Ahmed (BSN), Shuvashish Das Bala (BSN MPH). Not shown Kanika Isla (BSN RN). Alex comments, “I was impressed with this dedicated group of faculty members. They have varied educational backgrounds, bringing diversity to the College of Nursing. I had a chance to observe them working as an effective team to solve every day problems, ranging from organizing a student spelling competition to mapping course competencies onto overall program objectives. I was also happy to note their solid grip on students’ learning experiences in the classroom and a clinical setting.” We welcome visiting faculty volunteers to work with these junior educators as coaches and mentors. Please contact us

Blog editor needed

Our project needs a volunteer to edit the blog on this website. It is a perfect task for someone  to support our work in Bangladesh who is unable to travel there at this time. The task is not urgent or time-consuming and requires basic facility with WordPress and social media. We will provide training and on-going-support, plus a steady feed of news items. Our previous volunteer, Helen Trung leaves big shoes to fill, but we know someone must be out there! Please contact us