Champion of health equity
Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury earned universal love and respect for his dedication to improve the healthcare accessibility for all, said Professor Md Sayedur Rahman, Chairman of the Pharmacology Department at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University yesterday.
He was speaking at a lecture, titled "Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, the National Drug Policy of 1982, and Bangladesh's Health Movement," commemorating the 34th anniversary of Drik.
Professor Rahman recounted Dr Zafrullah's remarkable contributions during the Liberation War in 1971, his pivotal role in establishing hospitals, and the founding of the Gonoshasthaya Kendra. Additionally, he delved into Dr Zafrullah's advocacy for women's empowerment and his humble, ordinary life.
Professor Rahman also underscored Dr Zafrullah's pivotal role in crafting the National Drug Policy of 1982, despite facing opposition from senior professors, certain media outlets, local companies, and even medical associations. He explained that prior to this policy, most medicines were either manufactured by multinational corporations or imported from abroad, making them unaffordable for the majority of the population.
Dr Zafrullah's proposed drug policy revolutionised this landscape, resulting in wider access to drugs at significantly reduced prices. This transformation also bolstered the domestic pharmaceutical industry's self-sufficiency, he added.
He emphasised that the 1982 policy served as a potent tool against profit-driven healthcare systems, reflecting Dr. Zafrullah's firm belief that it could liberate people from the grip of capitalism and serve as an exceptional blueprint for building a welfare-focused nation.
Photographer and Drik's Managing Director Shahidul Alam delivered the welcome speech at the event.
During the event, Shireen Haque and Barish Hasan Chowdhury, on behalf of Zafrullah Chowdhury's family, participated in the programme