Marking the occasion of Drik's 34th founding anniversary, an exclusive lecture event titled Golam Kasem Daddy Lecture "Dr Zafrullah, National Drug Policy 1982 and Bangladesh Health Movement" took place at Drikpath Bhaban in the capital on Monday.
The lecture was presented by Professor Md Sayedur Rahman, Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Eminent photojournalist Shahidul Alam, Managing Director of Drik, greeted the audience with his welcome speech at the beginning of the program.
Prof Sayedur Rahman, in his lecture, shed the spotlight on several characteristics of Dr Zafrullah in light of his personal experience. He discussed Zafrullah's involvement in the field hospital during the turbulent periods of 1971 Liberation War, the establishment of his iconic Gonoshasthaya Nagar, his opinions on women's emancipation, and his general life.
He also emphasized Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury's contribution to the creation of the 1982 National Drug Policy and how that policy had aided in the development of the domestic pharmaceutical industry's independence, saying: "In independent Bangladesh, Dr Zafarullah founded the health movement with the dream of creating an equitable society. The National Drug Policy of 1982 served as a catalyst in the battle against a profit-oriented healthcare system."
"Dr Zafrullah believed that this policy could free people from the slavery of capital. The 1982 National Drug Policy, for that reason, not only prioritized the growth of the local pharmaceutical sector but also increased drug accessibility for the masses."
"In addition to promoting local pharmaceutical companies over foreign ones, the policy ensured people's affordability. Domestic pharmaceutical businesses could not make more than Tk 5-6 crore in profits annually prior to the establishment of this policy; and now they generate Tk 1000, 1200, or even 1500 crore annual turnovers.
"Bangladesh stood as one of the 14 nations with its own drug policy after its establishment - and that credit goes to Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury. His proposed drug policy will remain an outstanding document for building a welfare-oriented state, "Professor Sayedur Rahman said, emphasizing how Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury played a leading role in the health movement of Bangladesh during his lifetime with his humanitarian actions.
On behalf of Zafrullah Chowdhury's family, his wife Shireen Huq and son Bareesh Hasan Chowdhury; along with the staff members of Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital at Dhanmondi and Gonoshasthaya Kendra Hospital at Savar, human rights activist Khushi Kabir, economist and educator Anu Muhammad, teacher and women's rights activist Firdous Azim and others joined the lecture.
In addition to Drik's well-wishers and former and present staff members, the event was also attended by several photographers and journalists, celebrating the 34th founding anniversary of the esteemed organization.
Commemorating the legendary Bangladeshi photographer and writer Golam Kashem Daddy, every year Drik organizes this exclusive lecture. Previously, the lecture was addressed by several eminent personalities including artist Mustafa Monwar, artist Dhali Al Mamun, film activist Catherine Masud and others.
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