Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury no more
Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder and valiant freedom fighter Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury died tonight at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital.
He was 81.
Professor Brigadier (Retd) Mamun Mostafi, who was leading a medical board formed for Zafrullah's treatment, confirmed that Dr Zafrullah breathed his last at 11:00pm.
Dr Zafrullah was admitted to Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital in the capital's Dhanmondi on Wednesday as his health condition deteriorated.
On Sunday, the hospital authorities formed a medical board to ensure his proper treatment.
He was suffering largely due to kidney ailment alongside liver problems and Septicemia since he was inflicted by Covid-19. But his death came hours after doctors said he was responding to the treatment.
A leading civil society figure, Dr Zafrullah was a vascular surgeon by background alongside a public health expert, who earned the reputation of being the architect 1982 National Drug Policy to reach expensive medicines at a cheaper price to ordinary people's doorsteps.
He had joined the Liberation War while he was a medical student in the UK and set up a major field hospital under the wartime Sector 2. and following the independence he founded the Gonoshasthaya Kendra in Savar in 1972.
According to Dr Zafrullah, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman named the facility himself while later the centre was developed into a medical college and pharmaceutical industry alongside two major hospitals, one in the capital Dhaka.
Among other awards, he was given Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1985 and the Right Livelihood Award in 1992 for his work in the public health sector. Dr Zafrullah was the recipient of Swadhinata Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh.
Son of Humayun Morshed Chowdhury, a student of anti-British movement revolutionary Masterda Surya Sen, Zafrullah was born on December 27, 1941, in Raozan upazila of Chattogram district.
He was the eldest of 10 siblings.