On 1 March the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh opened its doors to its first cohort of 40 nursing students.
The college established by Glasgow Caledonian University in conjunction with 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is aimed at raising standards of nursing and midwifery in Bangladesh which will help address maternal and infant mortality rates.
It will take four years and nine months for the Grameen nurses to graduate with a BSc in Nursing.
Professor Yunus, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from GCU in December 2008 has undertaken a collaboration with the university to deliver various projects and benefits based on GCU’s teaching and research strengths.
As a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre and one of the UK’s top ten universities for allied health research, GCU’s Director of Global Health Development, Professor Barbara Parfitt with colleagues in Bangladesh, has spent the last six months setting up the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing within the Grameen Bank Complex in Bangladesh in order to assist in developing nursing and midwifery in Bangladesh to an international standard and to prepare nurse leaders in Bangladesh for the future
“We have started everything from scratch,” said Professor Parfitt.
“We have been allocated two floors in a building within the Grameen Complex. These are now operational as two classrooms, academic staff and administrative staff offices, a library and a computer lab. We are currently designing the clinical simulation lab and providing accommodation for our students on site. Students are living in the training hostel, but in order to accommodate them all we have provided bunk beds in each dormitory for 16 students.”
The opening of the College is seen as a step towards addressing the imbalance between the number and doctors and nurses in Bangladesh and high maternal and child mortality rates. It also aims to develop nurse leaders for Bangladesh in the future.