Dhaka, Bangladesh

Partner: Partners for World Health
Date: October 2 – October 12
Program Cost: $3,500 (airfare included)
Provider: Medical + Surgical Oncologist, Oncology RN, NP, PA, Burn/Wound Care RN, Palliative Care/Hospice RN, NP, PA, Chemotherapy RN, GYN Surgeon, Head + Neck Surgeon, Breast Cancer Surgeon, Radiation Oncologist, Plastic Surgeon, Pediatric Surgeon​, PICC Nurse 

Medical setting:

The National Institute of Cancer Research & Hospital and the Sheikh Hasina National Institute for Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka are the only facilities of their kind in the country. They are well equipped, clean and resemble a facility in the U.S. Visits to major slums in Dhaka for community health outreach programs will be open-air and primarily in courtyard settings with some shade.  

Water will always be accessible and local snacks are available for purchase, though participants are encouraged to bring packaged snacks on their own.

Cultural experience:

Participants will work alongside local interpreters and on-site hosts the entire trip. Opportunities for conversation and cultural interaction and exchange will be plentiful. Direct interaction with patients will be limited to non-verbal communication, as most patients will speak Bangla. Opportunities to work alongside, learn from and teach and share best practices with well-educated, local providers and nurses at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Burn and Plastic Surgery in the country’s capital is something that cannot be experienced at home. The intercultural and knowledge exchange will be plentiful, working alongside their nation’s best.  

There will be guided reflection at team dinners to discuss the cultural experiences. 

Bangladesh is a predominantly Islamic country, so participants will be asked to dress modestly covering shoulders and above the knees, specifically.  

Program includes:

In partnership with the Path Finders Rotary, PWH will provide the 7th Annual Conference on Care of the Cancer Patient at the National Institute of Cancer and Research Hospital in Dhaka. A 6-day conference (2, 3-day session) is planned to provide education and training to physicians and nurses on non-communicable diseases, care of the cancer patient, palliative care, medication administration, wound care education and infection control. In addition, surgical intervention with consultation (both in-patient and out-patient) will be provided.  

Concurrently, a second 6-day conference to provide education and training for emergent burn care will take place at the Sheikh Hasina National Institute for Burn and Plastic Surgery in Dhaka.  

Outreach to Bangladesh women about breast self-exam, breast cancer and menstrual hygiene will be provided at the community level.    

About Partners for World Health:

Partners for World Health (PWH) is a non-profit 501(c)3 based in Portland, Maine. PWH collects medical supplies and equipment from healthcare facilities, manufacturers, other organizations, and individuals. We sort, evaluate, repackage, and prepare these supplies and equipment for distribution to individuals, communities, and healthcare facilities in need. 

Our work limits the impact on the environment by diverting materials from landfills; lowers healthcare costs by lowering disposal fees; and provides healthcare resources to those in need. PWH aims to improve health conditions by sending medical personnel on medical missions to the developing world and educating New England communities about global health issues.