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Mid-Main Friends of Bangladesh – Bangladesh Health Project

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Mid-Main Friends of Bangladesh – Bangladesh Health Project

Annual Report June 30, 20121

1. Program development a. Students. This has been another active year but we have had on-going problems with Bangladesh Nursing Council, which refuses to register our graduates. As a result, enrolment has dwindled, so that total enrolment across the four years of the program is about forty students. This is a significant concern, discussed further below. b. Graduates This was a very important year for the College of Nursing, because the first graduates were officially recognized during the third Convocation for the University. In late December, twenty-two BSN graduates had their Certificates of Graduation confirmed by the Government of Bangladesh. In the picture below, some are shown with Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof. Mahmuda Khanum and Chair, Health Sciences, Dr. Karen Lund. In all about thirty students have graduated. To the best of our knowledge all those who want to be working have found good jobs. Some are working at private hospitals in Bangladesh as ward staff or senior nurses. Others are junior faculty at private nursing colleges in Nepal. A few have emigrated to USA or UK. One graduate successfully applied to a USA accrediting agency for recognition of her BSN credentials in order to apply for graduate school. and there are now about 70 students enrolled in the IUBAT College of Nursing. A few foreign students continue to enrol, but we are mostly seeing enrolment of Bangladeshis. Our medium-term objective is about 20-25 students in each of three intakes annually; we expect this will result in about 50 students per year graduating.


c. Course Faculty. Junior Nursing students take general courses with students in other programs. This is an important innovation relative to most nurse training in Bangladesh, which takes place in isolated institutes. We continue to work towards training Bangladeshi nurse educators as a permanent and sustainable faculty base. Canadian volunteer, Dr. Karen Lund continues as Chair of the IUBAT Health Sciences Department. Dr. Nazmul HudaA.S.A. Masud has joined the IUBAT faculty, with a joint appointment to Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Coordinator of the College of Nursing and an employee of IUBAT. We continue to also rely on two sessional instructors, also physicians.

d. Visiting Faculty. As previously, volunteer educators from Canada and elsewhere provided the core teaching for IUBAT nursing students. This year (April 20110-June 20121) visiting faculty for IUBAT College of Nursing included Alex Berland, Murad Bakht, Rebecca Campalans, Moira Cameron, Patrick de Sousa, Amy Hall, Daniel Hawkins, Jo-Ann Leavey, Andrea Marrie, Gillian McKay, Monique de Groot, Deirdre Evans, Emilie Fourrey, Stephanie Lee, Danielle LeMoine, Rebekah Lowes, Cassandra Ma, Gillian McKay, Susan McNeill, Rabiya Merani, Sonie Meyer, Judi Morton, Linda Rollins, John Ringhisen, and Sally Sando Jim Ofonda, Jane Oshinowo, Caroline Price, Ray Scott, Sam Simpson, Permjit Soomal, Rachel Thiessen, and Claudia Wong. We are grateful for their dedication.

e. Clinical placements. Our teaching sites are the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed, Centre for Woman and Child Health, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research Bangladesh [ICDDRB], Monon Mental Health Clinic, National Institute for Mental Health and United Hospital. Junior students visit the Families for Children Orphanage. Senior students study the health of communities near the university. We have been careful to choose practice sites with good care standards and progressive staff attitudes because we want positive role models for our students.

f. Other IUBAT activities. IUBAT is growing rapidly due to its reputation as one of the best private universities in the country and the demand for better quality higher education. New construction in the past year has again greatly increased classroom space. Improvements to the computer lab and internet capacity have greatly benefited Nursing students. We continue to enjoy the extra space of the A new and much larger Nursing Laboratory has been built last year. in a cluster of lab units. IUBAT has recently paid to equip this with two hospital ward beds and patient care furniture. We provide modest support to IUBAT, by hosting international volunteers teaching in other programs, writing university policies, assisting with research activities, and developing marketing and recruiting materials.

g. Support to other university students. In February 20121 we again hosted a class of Community Nursing students from University of Vermont during their two-week field study under Prof. Rycki Maltby. In March and April two students from Selkirk College studied at IUBAT as part of their final term practicum. During June and JulyJune 2011, we had two groups of BSN the first visit from three students of Vancouver Community College who were also completing a final-term practicum with their faculty members Susan McNeill and Patrick de Sousa. We supported IUBAT graduate Bimala Rai who earned a prestigious scholarship to University of Oslo to complete a graduate level summer intensive course.

h. Professional development for the health care community in Bangladesh. Our Canadian volunteers have offered several lectures at our teaching hospital sites. This helps build our network through local nurse leaders who help us find practice sites and potential faculty members. The exchange of ideas enriches the volunteer experience and provides a valuable service for our local nursing colleagues. In January 2012, we offered a workshop on “Collaborative Action to Strengthen Nursing in Bangladesh”, which was attended by educators and officials, including a representative of the Bangladesh Nursing Council.

i. Activities in Canada. In early 2011, we prepared a major funding proposal to the Voluntary Sector Fund of the Canadian International Development Agency. Unfortunately this was not successful. We continue to provide support in Canada to nursing students going to IUBAT for their own educational purposes, and make presentations to schools and colleges and service organizations such as Rotary Clubs.

2. Canadian support a. We are grateful that Mid-Main Community Health Centre in Vancouver continues to be the Canadian sponsor for this project. Special thanks to Mid-Main Board members Deirdre Evans and John Richards and to Executive Director Irene Clarence for their on-going commitment and support.

b. The Nursing Departments at Selkirk College Castlegar, University of Victoria and Vancouver Community College now have formal links with IUBAT.

c. About 15-20 individuals each year travel to Bangladesh as volunteer educators. Many others based in Canada have provided educational materials or services to support volunteers. We are especially grateful to the College of Registered Nurses of BC for providing us with discarded textbooks for our library. A Vancouver-based volunteer, Sara Jackson, organizes our recognition and debriefing program for returning volunteers.


3. Financial status We have been able to cover program operating costs through generous support of donors in collaboration with IUBAT. Donations pay guest house expenses for volunteers while they are at IUBAT, and also for textbooks, teaching materials and office equipment. Please see Appendix 1 for details. While the Bangladesh Health Project provides substantial support, so does IUBAT. The university pays for overhead services, including Library and Registrar, as well as sessional instructors and teaching staff for general programs taken by BSN students. IUBAT realizes modest revenue from BSN student tuition fees. A major expense and effort this year was completion of a formal audit of the Bangladesh Health Project, spear-headed by John Richards. This report is available upon request. We have also hired a part-time book-keeper to manage the finances in Canada.

4. Next steps in the coming year a. Our number one priority is to address the registration issue with Bangladesh Nursing Council. IUBAT Founder and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. M. Alimullah Miyan, has addressed this vigorously, with two successful court challenges. He has also engaged a professional lobbyist to work with senior officials directly. As Canadian volunteers, our role must be somewhat limited. Nonetheless, we have spoken with officials at the Canadian High Commission on several occasions and have also used our network of contacts to press the issue. There have been several high-level meetings during late 2012 and we are now hopeful that this issue will be resolved by spring 2013.

b. Improve the curriculum. Continue developing and upgrading lesson plans, particularly to emphasize critical thinking and problem-solving. Develop accreditation and quality assurance processes.

c. Continue developing our research program and reporting on our work and lessons learned i. We have submitted to the American Journal of Nursing published an article describing some of the cultural challenges for Canadian educators. the Nursing College as a Canada-Bangladesh partnership in the International Journal of Nursing, (available at ) ii. Our 2011 paper published in International Nursing Review was the subject of a positive editorial comment by the UK Royal College of Nursing. iii. We have supported the nutrition studies completed by John Richards and his graduate student, Afifa Shahrin iv. Karen Lund plans a new study on perceptions of nursing among ordinary citizens of Bangladesh.

v. Wwe published a working paper on nutrition in local slum community, based on survey work conducted by IUBAT nursing students (available at )

d. We have had good feedback on our website and blog reports Naturally, this needs continued up-dating Fortunately we have a new volunteer, Jen Preston, working on this.

e. Work with local and expatriate Bangladeshis to develop two new nursing programs: a Master’s level course of study, and an “advanced entry” BSN for students with prior university studies.Prepare modules for teaching local educators how to teach.

f. Engage volunteers more effectively. i. Improve volunteer recruitment, orientation, policies and recognition. ii. Involve Canadian-based Bangladeshis in program activities.

g. Raise necessary funds to strengthen the program and support students. i. Develop a fund-raising committee and submit other funding proposals for the new developments noted in this report. ii. Involve Canadian-based Bangladeshis in program activities. iii. Seek donations for student scholarships and clerkships in Canada, instructional DVDs and equipment, and upgrading the IUBAT skills lab.

5. What will the Bangladesh Health Project do over the next five years? This first stage of the Bangladesh Health Project is now substantially complete. It has shown “proof of concept” for our model of international standard nurse education. The next steps involve scaling-up and training trainers. a. Scaling-up means requires that we organizinge our curriculum resources toso they can be shared with other like-minded institutions that train nurses. We have now prepared the material for 21 nursing courses, plus 15 practicum and laboratory courses. This first draft of the entire nursing syllabus and administrative policies is available in digital format. To our knowledge, this resource is unique and, iIf available in open source format, this unique resource could be a significant contribution to human resource development globally. We have approached educators and publishers but have not yet found a suitable partner.

b. The second proposed activity, training of trainers, is essential for IUBAT to become self-sustaining and to support our clinical partner sites as they develop higher standards. The objective is to create “islands of excellence” that demonstrate the benefit of effective nurse education. Locally educated nurses require considerable upgrading to be able to teach content at the level of the IUBAT program. c.

[pic] Appendix 1 Financial statement (unaudited)

IUBAT graduate Asha John (BSN 2010) demonstrates a dressing change in IUBAT’s new Nursing Laboratory, with volunteers Monique de Groot and JoAnn Leavey.

CPR class taught by US- certified instructor

We donated textbooks and offered support to the faculty of the new nursing education program at our teaching site, United Hospital.

Canadian volunteers Val Hedstrom and Rick Dowdall at a Nursing Administration workshop for IUBAT students and nurse managers from ICDDRB and United Hospital.

The IUBAT Library is a busy place. Many students chose to study here because their home environment may not be suitable.

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