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Safe anaesthesia and respiratory solutions for limited resource settings


Floating hospitals serving the poor in Bangladesh

Publication date: 6 Jun 2017

The floating hospitals of Bangladesh are life transforming for people who live in the remote and inaccessible areas of this densely populated country.  The hospital ships serve the very poorest communities in the Bay of Bengal in the south and the Char dwellers who live on the shifting river islands in northern Bangladesh.  They provide free treatment to people who would otherwise have no access to medical care at all.

The charity Friendship run three hospital ships that move every few months to reach as many people as possible and between them treat 140,000 patients every year. The ships are fully equipped as floating hospitals that provide a range of services including surgical operations.

The Glostavent anaesthesia machine is designed to function reliably in challenging conditions and is ideally suited to the work of Friendship. Diamedica is proud to have supplied the charity with three Glostavents that are in use and providing good service in Bangladesh.

Floating hospitals serving the poor in Bangladesh

How you can help

Friendship is always in need of experienced medical volunteers, especially surgeons, anaesthetists, and OT nurses. Anyone interested in helping on the Friendship ships should contact the charity for more information. Please contact: Dr Ishtiaq Hossain (BDS), Program Officer, Hospital Services. Email: ishtiaq@friendship-bd.org

Friendship was originally founded to provide medical care, although the charity now tackles many other issues that contribute to the cycle of poverty in Bangladesh. Friendship programmes include access to health, education, basic needs, equal rights and opportunities, sustainable income and preservation of national heritage.


For more information about Friendship's remarkable work and the impact it makes please visit their website: https://friendship.ngo

Floating hospitals serving the poor in Bangladesh

Photos credits: Friendship NGO

The latest Friendship hospital ship is the former Greenpeace International flagship, The Rainbow Warrior II. The donated vessel was converted to a hospital ship and since 2013 has served as The Rongdhonu Friendship Hospital ship in the Bay of Bengal.

Further reading

A recent article in the National Geographic highlighted the work of the Friendship floating hospitals in Bangladesh that those communities affected by flooding and rising sea levels. LINK to article

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