Tangail, Bangladesh

Partner: Partners for World Health
Date: March 10 – March 20
Program Cost: $3,100 (airfare included)
Provider: Primary Care RNs, NPs, PAs, MDs/DOs, Wound Care RNs, NPs, PAs, Physical Therapists, specialization/experience preferred in: family medicine, women’s health, nursing education  

Medical setting:

Part A: Site is in a shaded, open-air courtyard within the walls of the Tangail Brothel. Nurses/providers providing education at the General Hospital in Tangail will be indoors, but mostly open air or with electric fans. 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 Bengali. These sites are far from “touristy” locations in Tangail and are kept out of sight from the general society due to the taboo of sex work in a Muslim country, and thus participants will be exposed to a population that rarely sees or interacts with people outside of their own culture and tightknight community.  

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:

Health care team members are needed to provide services in Tangail, a major city 85km from the capital, Dhaka. Primary care services as well as health screenings, STI and breast cancer education will take place at the Kandapara Brothel where over 2,000 women (and children) live and are employed as sex workers with no access to healthcare.  At the Tangail District Hospital, a government hospital of 350 beds with 500 patients, the team of RNs and providers will deliver education and training, both didactic and clinical, for nurses and nursing students ranging from infection control to wound care.  In addition, we may travel to Manipur or Bogara where Health Care Team Members where we will provide similar activities. Outreach to Bangladesh women about breast self-exam and breast cancer will be provided at the community level, including distribution of menstrual hygiene education and kits (reusable pads and ancillary supplies for clean and private menstruation).    

You will have the opportunity to visit the Bangladesh Founders home and museum in Dhaka, visit a Street School, have some time for unique shopping experiences and participate in other sightseeing activities orchestrated by our in-country partners.  

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.