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Khaleda Zia starts taking physiotherapy

Say BSMMU docs
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Star file photo

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia started receiving physiotherapy for arthritis yesterday afternoon at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

“Doctors decided to give her physiotherapy after collecting her medical history,” BSMMU Director General Brig Gen Abdullah Al Harun said.

“Right now, it is difficult to say exactly how long she will need to stay here for treatment,” he told The Daily Star.

At a media briefing held at BSMMU yesterday, Harun said that the full medical board, which was formed to examine Khaleda, would visit her this afternoon, adding that he said some members of the board have already examined her separately.

On Monday, the medical board said it would be around two weeks before they can start the main treatment as they needed to assess Khaleda's health condition first.

“Her main illness is pain in joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. She has uncontrolled diabetes and arthritis. It is necessary to bring those under control first,” Prof Abdul Jalil Chowdhury, doctor of internal medicine and head of the medical board, told the newspaper on Monday.

Khaleda was moved to BSMMU from Dhaka's old central jail on Saturday following a High Court order.

The former prime minister was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. She was sent to prison the same day.

On Thursday, the HC asked the authorities to set up a five-member medical board, headed by Prof Jalil and Associate Prof Badrunnesa Ahmed, a BSMMU physiatrist, for Khaleda's treatment.

Government doctors, who have treated the 73-year-old BNP chief since she was imprisoned, said that she had been suffering from problems in the knees along with other ailments for a long time. Her personal doctors, who met her in the prison, said she suffered a “mild stroke” on June 5.