Jan Rice takes a photo with group of senior nursing staff in hospital ward.

Interplast have been working with surgeons and nursing staff in Bangladesh for 20 years. We are proud to have supported our partners to establish many programs that are now running with little or no assistance from us, including:

  • The Emergency Management of Severe Burns (EMSB) course
  • A microsurgery training course and laboratory for locally-delivered training
  • Pressure garment manufacturing with the Acid Survivor’s Foundation.

This March, the Rotary Club of Kenwick (now the Rotary Club of Canning River) and Clubs in District 9780 supported Interplast’s return to Bangladesh to deliver a busy training program at the Sheik Hasina National Institute of Burns and Plastic Surgery (SHNIBPS).

Interplast last visited Bangladesh in 2018, when the Institute was still an empty building. It was amazing to finally see it operating as the world’s largest burns hospital – with over 500 beds and admitting 60 to 80 burns patients every day.

The team were able to tour the new facilities, and were thrilled to see their past training being practiced and taught to the next generation of the workforce.

A busy learning schedule

Plastic Surgeons, Dr Russel Corlett, Dr Craig Quarmby and A/Prof Dean White, and Nurse Educator Jan Rice lead a number of diverse learning sessions. These sessions built upon existing knowledge of plastic and reconstructive surgery and introduced new international standards.

Interplast surgeons delivered training on burns, microsurgery and breast reconstruction to 75 surgical clinicians. Jan Rice trained an additional 112 senior nurses on infection control, nutrition, surgical wounds and scar management, physiotherapy and dressings.

A group of trainees sit in a classroom, listening to an unseen teacher.

Senior Nursing staff of SHNIBPS attend a training session.

By the end of the week, 187 participants had attended lectures, workshops and discussions that furthered their skills and knowledge!

Strong and lasting relationships

This trip was a wonderful opportunity to catch up with long-term colleagues, and connect with other development organisations who support work in parallel to plastics and reconstructive surgery.

Interplast have been fortunate to work with incredible people, many who we first met at Dhaka Medical Hospital in 2004. We had the pleasure of reconnecting with Dr Samanta Sen, a previous surgical counterpart, who is now Minister for Health. Dr Sen is passionate about reducing the impact of burns injuries in his country.

Group of people pose for a photo in an office.

Interplast volunteers with SHNIBPS department leadership, and Dr Sen, Minister for Health.

The team were also delighted to meet future leaders in health, such as Dr Most. Nurunnahar Begum Lata, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at SHNIBPS.

Asst Professor Begum has a deep interest in electrical burns and has been working on their prevention, treatment and rehabilitation for many years.

“With rapid development of the country, the number of electric burns and trauma increases drastically. Reconstruction is challenging and very often patients are ended up with non-functioning limbs. We need expertise to learn the recent advances in surgical procedure and management.”

Dr Begum in a white coat in a hospital ward.

With thanks to corporate sponsor, Avant, Interplast will support Dr Begum to attend the 92nd Royal Australian College of Surgeons’ conference in Christchurch, New Zealand this year to continue her learning.
You can read more about the importance of investing in the health workforce, and supporting passionate individuals like Dr Begum on our Scholarships page.

A heartfelt thank you

Our ability to create and maintain these relationships is in no small part thanks to the dedication of our volunteers. Dr Russel Corlett has been visiting Bangladesh with Interplast since 2004, and served as our Country Coordinator for many years.

His contributions to our programs and the people of Bangladesh are commendable, with the latter formally recognised during this trip. Though he hands over the reins of program coordination to A/Prof Dean White, his impact will continue to be felt for many years into the future.

Group of eight people smile as one man accepts trophy.

Dr Corlett accepts a plaque from Prof. Abul Kalam, President of the Society of Plastic Surgeons of Bangladesh and Prof. Sazzad Khondoker, Secretary General of the Society of Plastic Surgeons of Bangladesh.

Future programs in Bangladesh

A key feature of all Interplast programs is our commitment to building sustainable medical outcomes for the communities we serve. During this trip, our partners expressed interest in further nurse education programs that focus on burns care, infection control and hospital administration.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to engage with the local teams to explore what aspects of surgical care we can assist them to develop over the next few years.” A/Prof Dean White told us in his post-trip report.

We look forward to exploring opportunities for the future with the Ministry of Health and staff of SHNIBPS.


Interplast would like to thank the Rotary Club of Kenwick (now the Rotary Club of Canning River) and Clubs in District 9780 for making this program possible.