Our Goals FAQ

Goals of the Bangladesh Health Project

What will be the impact for health care in Bangladesh?

Our long-term goal is to develop future leaders of the nursing profession in Bangladesh: nurse educators, managers, researchers and skilled practitioners who will develop the nursing profession and improve population health.

We expect that IUBAT graduates will be of special benefit for the leading hospitals and many NGOs in the country, particularly in training and directing nurses and paraprofessional staff to provide maternal-child care and other community-based services.

In the medium term, we hope to open a clinic to serve the local community near the campus.

In the medium term, the IUBAT nursing program will be a “better practice” example or role model for others. More, and better opportunities for nursing education will increase the number of practicing nurses and improve their impact on population health.

What will be the impact on nurse emigration?

We have thought a lot about this issue and understand the concern.

A simple response would be to emphasize that we are focusing on nurse education, a necessary activity for advancement of health services and public health in Bangladesh.

Looking at the demand for nurses internationally, the system solution would be for Western countries to train enough of their own health care workers.
Because of the importance of this issue, we would also offer a more complicated response. Generally, this very legitimate concern is not a significant barrier to continuing with our project, for several reasons:

First, every developing country is different. The absolute depletion problems described in some African nations are not so evident in Bangladesh, where the main problem is quality of practice.

There exist thousands of unemployed nurses in Bangladesh today; many RNs do not take jobs due to lack of adequate wages for living costs, other nurses are unemployable due to their poor training.

Certainly, some graduates of the IUBAT program will seek jobs overseas. However, not all IUBAT graduates will be interested in this nor will all be able to work overseas. These nurses will remain in Bangladesh to serve their country.

It is extremely important to note that nursing has a very low status in Bangladesh. Creating economic opportunities based on an international nursing qualification will help raise the professional status of nursing, attracting stronger students to the field.

Lately, there are better opportunities for nurses in private hospitals and some NGOs. These offer much better wages and higher care standards than many public settings.

We are reassured on these points by the support we have received from hospital directors, both local and expatriate, and from individual nurse leaders.

This seems like a very Western-oriented approach. What about learning from local approaches to nursing education?

This is an important question that we have tried to tackle sincerely.

We spend a lot of time talking to Bangladeshi nurse leaders as well as physicians and health system managers. They have encouraged us to focus on international, evidence-based nursing practice.

We have taken on board the concerns of local nurse educators about the current state of the nursing profession and nursing education in Bangladesh. Basically, they are asking us to help them raise nursing education and practice from its very low status and poor quality. We Canadians have been invited as partners by Bangladeshis to develop this program. As long as we stay in touch with practicing nurses and nurse educators in Bangladesh, we feel that we will get helpful guidance.

We have tailored the Western curriculum materials to develop vocabulary, enhance problem-based learning and incorporate South Asian scenarios and traditions in case studies and learning assignments.