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According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh, the country only has 3.06 nurses for every 10,000 population
Ayat Education organized the ‘Symposium on Nursing Education and Collaboration’ on Sunday, June 12, at the Grand Ballroom of Westin Dhaka. This symposium, supported by the Dhaka Bank Limited, was organized in partnership with the Center for Global Health of Massachusetts General Hospital and Simmons University, USA.
According to a press release, a great shortage of skilled nurses threatens Bangladesh’s healthcare system. According to the latest health bulletin (2019) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh, the country only has 3.06 nurses for every 10,000 population.
Providing quality nursing education also remains an unresolved issue due to a lack of specialized nursing education, shortage of qualified teaching staff, and unavailability of digital education and cutting-edge technologies.
Additionally, there is a critical need for palliative care in Bangladesh, but the country does not have adequate facilities and manpower to cater to this demand. The government alone cannot fulfil the gaps. Therefore, private enterprises need to come forward and work in tandem with the government to take forward palliative care and quality nursing education in Bangladesh.
“There is a lot that needs to be done to solve the healthcare issues in our country and it will not be possible for Ayat Education to reach those goals alone. Hence, I would like to appeal to our civil society to support the organization in its mission and work together to bridge the gaps. Dhaka Bank is proud to be a partner of Ayat Education and we hope to continue our support,” said Abdul Hai Sarker, chairman of Dhaka Bank Ltd, during his speech on private sector collaboration in ‘Dignifying Life’ through palliative care and quality nursing.
Against this backdrop, Ayat Education began the “Dignifying Life” project in 2018 with a national call to dignify the nursing profession and address the rising need for quality nurses and palliative care services in Bangladesh. The project aims to bring about a systemic change by capacity development of doctors and nurses; increasing awareness among the general public including youth; and exchanging knowledge among national and international health experts.
So far, Ayat Education has trained close to 500 nurses in the ‘End-of-Life-Care (ELNEC)’ certificate program in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, trained 220 doctors on palliative care management, and organized two roundtables with public, private, and civil society representatives to discuss the policy issues in Bangladesh. The success of our advocacy campaign convinced the Government of Bangladesh to establish palliative care units in all eight divisions across the country.
Chief guest, Dr Mashiur Rahman, economic affairs advisor to the Prime Minister of the Bangladesh Government said: “Artificial Intelligence is our future, and a simulation lab will thus be a great fit. However, I will encourage investment of resources to capacity development so that advanced technologies can be properly utilized.” The event was also graced by the presence of Helen LaFave, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Dhaka, and Dr Rubana Huq, Vice-chancellor, Asian University for Women, Yasir Zaman, CEO, Grameen Phone Ltd, Dr Anne-Marie Barron, Professor Emerita, Simmons University, and Nusrat Aman, CEO, Ayat Education.
A team of researchers and educators from Massachusetts General Hospital and Simmons University, led by Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and Director of Bangladesh Program at MGH Global Health, Dr. Bimalangshu Dey, participated in the program and said: “At Ayat Education, we have a goal to reach excellence in nursing and palliative care. This is a goal that requires multisectoral collaborations. So, we invite industry leaders and entrepreneurs to lend us their support so that we can reach our goal successfully and fast.”