Volunteering in Bangladesh

Megan Doherty is a Consultant in Paediatric Palliative Care and previously spent three years living in Bangladesh. During this time, Megan worked closely with the paediatric oncology departments at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Dhaka Medical College Hospital, National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital, and Dhaka Shishu (Childrens) Hospital.

We got in touch with Megan to find out what life was like when first moving to Bangladesh;

“Despite never visiting Bangladesh before I had been to India so my expectations were for it to be similar with lots of people, dust and for it to be very hot. My first time visiting the country was when I moved there in 2013 and I was immediately impressed by how busy and alive it was, Dhaka really is the city that never sleeps.

“The people there were friendly and curious about where I was from and why I was in Bangladesh. On the streets I would often hear people asking me “Apnar desh ki?” meaning “what is your country”.

From 2013 to 2016, Megan volunteered in Bangladesh, a time during which she describes as being challenging, rewarding and exciting;

“It was an incredible experience to live in Bangladesh for those three years. I learnt so much about how to develop healthcare for children with serious illnesses, specifically cancer and it was also a humbling experience.

“I realised just how difficult it is to do this type of work, especially in countries like Bangladesh where resources are stretched. Without the right medicines, tests or other treatments it is incredible challenging, whilst children and their families struggle with a variety of barriers simply trying to gain access to any treatment at all.

“I loved my time in Bangladesh, and would love to live there again in the future. It is a beautiful and interesting country and I feel that a part of my heart will always be there.

"Whenever I return, which I do every few months, as soon as I step off the plane and breath that first breath of hot humid Dhaka air, I feel in some way that I am home.”

Visit our LaunchGood page to find out how your support can help give the gift of growing up to children with cancer this Ramadan.