Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder and Liberation War veteran Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury passed away on Tuesday (Apr 11) as he was being treated at Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital under life support, doctors at the facility said. He was 81. He breathed his last around 11.35 p.m., a spokesman of the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital said, adding that he was admitted to the facility in city's Dhanmondi area on Apr 5, which he founded as well, and was put under life support system on Apr 10 as his condition deteriorated.
A leading civil society figure, Zafrullah Chowdhury was a vascular surgeon by background alongside a public health expert, who earned the repute 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 while he was a medical student in UK and set up a major field hospital under the war time Sector 2 and following the independence he founded the Ganosasthya Kendra in Savar in 1972.
According to Chowdhury, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman named the facility himself while later the centre was developed a medical college and pharmaceutical industry alongside two major hospitals, one in the capital Dhaka.
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.
Son of Humayun Morshed Chowdhury, a student of anti-British movement revolutionary Masterda Surya Sen, Chowdhury was born on Dec 27, 1941 in Rawzan upazila of Chattogram district.
He was the eldest of his 10 siblings.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury. In a condolence message, the premier said Dr. Zafrullah's contribution to the great liberation war, pharmaceutical industry and public health sector will be remembered.
She prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed sympathy to the bereaved family.