Bangladesh Medical Trip

October 3 – October 16, 2023

Dr. Neal Stretch, Chief Medical Officer for International Needs Canada

Greetings from Dr. Neal Stretch

I’ve been leading medical teams for twenty-three years, and during that time I’ve had the privilege of treating more than 10,000 children in many different partner countries. These trips always surprise me, because I get back so much more blessing than I could ever give. My favourite part has been watching the children grow up and turn into spectacular adults who become powerful change agents in their communities. I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many of the partners and seeing first-hand the impactful work they are doing to transform lives and change communities.

If you have any questions, please send us an email for more information. I hope to see you in Bangladesh!

General Information

About International Needs

International Needs Canada is a global non-denominational Christian development organization established in 1974 that promotes health, nutrition, education, and community development. Our programs include child sponsorship, schools, feeding programs, healthcare, clean water projects, and more. Key to the success and sustainability of these initiatives is a strong partnership with each partner country and ownership of each initiative BY the partner country.

About the Trip

International Needs Bangladesh operates schools and programs for vulnerable children in many regions of Bangladesh. This trip provides medical support for children who have very little opportunity to access health care. The children and their parents are grateful for the team visiting.


About the Clinics

Clinics in Bangladesh are both fun and very chaotic. Although things are organized well from the outset, people in rural areas never get to see a doctor. When a medical team visits their area, people come from near and far. Even though the medical camps are not advertised, hundreds will show up. Our task is to see mostly women and children, and you can expect to see several hundred a day for each clinic.

Clinics will be divided into stations and may be in a school or open courtyard. Stations will include registration, height and weight, medical history, medical assessment, and pharmacy. We will work alongside our Bangladeshi partners, and each of you will be assigned a station and interpreter.

On this trip, we will be visiting three sites:

  1. Savar Children’s Village – this is a boarding facility for girls 5 – 18 years of age, located about an hour from the capital city of Dhaka. The girls love having visitors, and you will enjoy your time there. It is an oasis in the middle of a bustling city.
  2. Naogoan – this is a rural area far to the northwest and is home to beautiful rice paddies. The village where the International Needs School is located will be the location for our clinic.
  3. Bethany Children’s Village – a boarding facility for boys 5-18 years old. The facility is located in the Barisol district about three hours southwest of Dhaka.

The Medical Team

Typically, the Canadian team includes 2-4 physicians, 3-4 nurses, and 2-4 allied health providers and volunteers. Your role will depend on your area of skill or interest.

  • Physicians: You will be working in the consultation area.
  • Nurses: We find great demand for your expertise in triage and the medication area.
  • Pharmacist: You will be in charge of the medical supplies and distributing medication.
  • Allied health professionals: Social workers, dietitians, and physio / occupational / respiratory therapists / dental hygienists – your areas of specialty are always needed!
  • Non-medical volunteers: If you have the heart to help children and their families, we have enjoyable and rewarding tasks for you!

Medical Supplies

Medical supplies and medicines will be purchased or donated and coordinated by Dr. Neal Stretch. If you have access to any of these supplies, please let us know. We will also be collecting vitamin, toothbrushes, and eyeglasses.

Important Details


Please visit your health care provider or travel clinic well in advance of your departure date to receive the required vaccinations and medications for the country(ies) you’ll be visiting. Visit the government website for recommended and required immunizations by country.


You will need a valid passport that expires no sooner than six months after the date of your return. If your passport has less than six months left until expiration, most countries do not allow you to travel. To avoid travel restrictions, we advise you to renew your passport well in advance.

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa is required for Bangladesh and will be purchased on arrival at the first airport of entry. $50 US cash is required to pay for the visa. 

Medical Insurance

You must purchase extended medical insurance over and above provincial coverage, unless you have extended health coverage from your place of employment. A package including cancellation and medical is usually less expensive.

Child Protection

As we will be visiting children, you will need to:

  1. Sign and return a copy of our Child Protection Policy

2) Submit a valid police check. Please visit your local police services or submit your request online through

Money Matters

Trip Costs

$5,800 CDN

Included in your priceNot Included
Round-trip air transportation from TorontoAdd-on fares from other cities (available for an extra cost)
Airport transfersTourist visa
All on-ground transportationPersonal items
Accommodations listed in the itineraryTips
Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinnerMeals and beverages while in transit
Sightseeing activities listed in the itinerary Travel vaccinations and medications
Taxes and service charges for the above

Payment Schedule

  1. $500 non-refundable deposit is due with your application (per person)
  2. $1,800 is due by July 3rd, 2023
  3. $3,500 is due 30 days before departure

Note: Prices are guaranteed only with full payment, as taxes and fuel surcharges can be added by airlines until full payment is received.

Payment Options

  1. Contact us by phone to make payments 1-888-702-9805 or 905-389-1118.
  2. After you register, International Needs Canada will set up a fundraising page for you. You can use this page to make your payments online and encourage your friends and family to support your trip! They will receive year-end tax receipts for any amount they donate.

Tax Deductibility

The entire trip is tax-deductible since International Needs Canada is a charitable organization. International Needs provides tax receipts for all funds donated to your trip.

A Few Important Rules

Safety Precautions

In order to keep safe please take the following precautions for travel.

  • Two photocopies of your passport identification page and credit/debit cards you’re bringing on the trip. Bring one printed copy with you and keep one copy at home. You can also email yourself scanned copies or store digital images on your phone.
  • Do not wear bring or wear anything flashy or expensive.
  • Please inform your family and friends that if an emergency were to occur they would receive a call from International Needs Canada. Under no circumstances would they leave a message to call a foreign number or to send money to a foreign address.
  • If there is an emergency in your family and they need to contact you they are to call International Needs Canada at (905) 389-1118 or the travel agent Earth Trek Unlimited at (506) 854-2451.

In Case of Emergency

  • In Bangladesh – Please inform your family and friends that if an emergency were to occur, the emergency contact listed on your application would receive a call from International Needs Canada. Under no circumstances would we leave a message to call a foreign number or to send money to a foreign address.
  • At Home – If there is an emergency in your family and they need to contact you they are to call International Needs Canada at (905) 389-1118 or the travel agent Earth Trek Unlimited at (506) 854-2451.

Dress Code

Many places we visit have an expectation of modesty when it comes to clothing and appearance. Here are some guidelines:

  • Long pants only (no shorts in public)
  • No spaghetti straps or revealing tops
  • Modest dress is recommended for clinics and visits to villages or schools
  • Skirts need to cover to at least the knee
  • Capris and pants are fine
  • Skirt or dress when attending a church service
  • Do not wear flashy jewelry, which may be offensive to the disadvantaged people we will meet.


Please do not photograph people without first asking their permission to do so. Sometimes a small tip is appropriate, though not at the school and villages where we are visiting. Do NOT take photos in airports or customs and immigration areas. 


International Needs has a strict policy on gift-giving. Many of our trip participants want to bring gifts and other items so they can make a bigger difference in the communities we visit. Thank you for your heart and generosity! However, these gifts often have unintended negative consequences. Therefore, all gifts must be approved in advance. Feel free to request a copy of the gift policy. 

Cancellation Policy

Deposits and payments are 100% non-refundable at all times or as stated in the terms provided by the airlines. We highly recommend you purchase cancellation insurance to cover yourself in case of illness to you or a member of your immediate family.

Responsibility Disclaimer

International Needs and the Travel Agent have made arrangements and act solely as agents for such services and cannot be held responsible for the acts or omissions on the part of suppliers. They are not liable for any injury, damage, default of any firm or person engaged in conveying passengers, carrying out travel arrangements, strikes, war, or any other causes beyond their control. 

Travel Details

Climate in Bangladesh

You can expect very warm maximum average daytime temperatures of around 32°C (89°F) and nighttime temperatures around 24°C (75°F) in Dhaka. These night and day temperatures are average and some days may be even warmer. So be prepared and dress for the heat.

Precipitation in October can be heavy in Dhaka, with an average of 175mm (6.9 inches) of rainfall. It is also generally a sunny time of year with an average of 229 hours of sunshine in Dhaka during the entire month.


Everyone on the team will have a translator during the clinics, as many of the patients do not speak English. 

Packing List

  • Clothing (see dress code below)
  • A hat or head cover, as the sun can be strong during the day
  • Comfortable footwear, including comfortable close-toed shoes and flip-flops to wear in the shower
  • Toiletries 
  • Medications – Important: all medications for personal use need to be packed in your hand luggage in their original containers. 
  • Personal items
  • Small items to entertain the kids at the clinic e.g. bubbles, soccer balls & pump, stickers, paint

Luggage Allowance

One checked bag weighing no more than 23kg (50 lbs) and one carry-on suitcase, and/or purse and camera bag.

  • We have also asked our medical team to bring an additional bag with medical supplies for the clinics. If this is necessary, International Needs Canada will pay for the extra cost.
  • We have also experienced delays with luggage transfer, so we recommend you pack essential toiletries and 2-3 days’ worth of clothing in your carry-on luggage. 

We will confirm all these details at a later date.


We advise extreme caution when consuming tap water, ice cubes, and fresh produce that would have been washed with local water, which is often taken from wells and not treated thoroughly.

Drink bottled water and beverages only after checking for proper a seal. 

Do not use tap water for brushing your teeth.

Use hand sanitizer, but please be conscious that people may be offended if they see you using it after shaking hands.


All meals will be provided except while in transit. Alcoholic beverages are not included. 


It is appropriate to leave $1 US a day for the cleaning staff at your hotel. If your luggage is brought to your room, tip $1 US per bag. This is their livelihood, so give them the opportunity to carry your bag. 


Electricity is 220/240 Volts and you will need a converter and adapter to charge your batteries for phone, camera, iPad, etc. (Type G plug and Type K plug).

Read about Bangladesh travel adaptors.

If you need to use your phone, remember that you will need to purchase an out-of-country package for texting, emailing, or calling. Otherwise, keep your phone on airplane mode at all times, as it is very costly to use out of Canada. Make sure that your cell phone roaming is OFF.

Currency Conversion

Convert $1 Cdn to Bangladeshi Taka

Take U.S. cash for your personal use, which can be exchanged at the bank or hotel. You cannot exchange Canadian dollars in Bangladesh.

In urban areas, you will be able to use your credit/debit card to withdraw cash from your bank account.

More About Bangladesh

Read more about the country and the work of International Needs.