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 improve population health in Bangladesh.  There are three intermediate goals to achieve this impact:

  1. In the medium term, the nursing program at IUBAT – International University of Business Agriculture and Technology will develop future leaders of the nursing profession in Bangladesh. We expect that the 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.
  2. Another medium-term goal is to establish a graduate-level public health training program (MPH) at IUBAT. This will provide a career path for many types of practicing professionals to become educators, managers, researchers and skilled practitioners. With a focus on both evidence and values, this MPH program strengthen professional practice and over time, improve population health.
  3. The third intermediate goal is to work with Oasis for Posterity to create a rural development model of community empowerment and education leading to improved population health. In addition to the local community benefits, this also supports the other two goals with practice and research opportunities.

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 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 BScN and MPH programs 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. By linking the BScN and MPH programs with the Oasis for Posterity component of our work, we hope to create a pathway for rural students. Global experience suggests that rural students are more likely to work in rural areas after they graduate.

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 Canadians have been invited as partners by Bangladeshis to develop the components of the Bangladesh Health Project. We spend a lot of time talking to our local partners as well as other Bangladeshis at home and abroad. They have encouraged us to focus on international, evidence-based practice supports.

We have also 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.