Bangladesh: Medical Missions & Workforce Strengthening

Population: 164.7 million

Bangladesh suffers from a shortage of health workers and poor geographic distribution of those workers. Health workers are concentrated in urban hospitals, although 70% of the population lives in rural areas. Major challenges include high turnover and absenteeism of health workers and poor maintenance of health facilities and medical equipment.

  • There are an estimated 3.05 physicians per 10,000 population and 1.07 nurses per 10,000 population (estimates based on MoHFW HRD 2011).
  • Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth): 43
  • Under-5 mortality rate (per 1,000 live birth): 54

*Estimates Developed by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UNICEF, WHO, World Bank, UN DESA Population Division) 


Our Impact

USFC medical mission to BangladeshUSFC has organized medical missions in Bangladesh since 2014, in partnership with the NGO Friendship. Friendship operates hospital boats to provide consultations and minor surgical care for population in Bangladesh. In 2018, Friendship opened a hospital in Shyamnagar, Bangladesh and USFC provided technical support and training for complex surgical techniques. 

In 2018:

  • USFC carried out four surgical missions to train Bangladesh healthcare processionals in  orthopedic surgery, plastic surgery, visceral surgery and cardiology. During these medical missions USFC also organized general health consultations.
  • In 2018, USFC treated 464 people and provided operations for 93 individuals in Bangladesh.
  • USFC organized four medical missions to Southern Bangladesh to provide medical and surgical training at the Friendship Hospital in Shyamnagar. USFC training missions include courses in maternal health, gynecology, hygiene, pharmaceuticals and general consults. During this visit, 165 consults were carried out.  

Our Activities

In March 2015, USFC organized an orthopedic medical mission led by Professor Jean-François Mallet, a French orthopedic surgeon. The mission was tailored specifically to consult children with cerebral palsy. During this mission, more than 50 patients were examined, while Bangladeshi medical personnel were trained on diagnosis. Parents of patients were also taught simple rehabilitation and physical therapy manipulations. In 2018, Dr. Mallet returned with a team to Bangladesh on medical mission to observe the patients again for any changes. 

Friendship Hospital, Shyamnagar BangladeshIn 2016, USFC organized a medical mission to Bangladesh to evaluate the progress of hospital construction in Shyamnagar, and assess its needs for health care personnel and equipment. In tandem with this mission, USFC organized an assessment of the medical activity onboard Friendship hospital ships and carried out standard health examinations for more than 150 patients. In 2018, an additional four missions were organized in Southern Bangladesh at the Friendship hospital in Shyamnagar to provide specialized training courses in maternal health, gynecology, hygiene, pharmaceuticals and general consults. During this visit, 165 consults were carried out.  

In April 2015, USFC organized a mission in collaboration with a Bangladeshi partner institution, Friendship, to rehabilitate one of their three hospital ships and train local medical staff. WASH education and awareness sessions were also organized.

© Pascal Deloche / GODONG
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