Professor Dr Mohammad Ibrahim
Diabetic Association of Bangladesh

Back in 1956, when people had a perception that diabetes is a disease of the affluents and hardly anyone anticipated that diabetes would be an epidemic even in developing countries. Professor Dr Mohammad Ibrahim (1911-1989) led a team of dedicated colleagues to establish the Diabetic Association of Pakistan which eventually became Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (in Bangla Bangladesh Diabetic Somiti, acronym BADAS) . The dream of the Founder was to create such facilities and environment where no diabetic shall die untreated, unemployed or unfed even if poor. Over the last five decades the Association has created the largest infrastructure, and registered patient base in the world for the prevention and care of diabetes. In addition, next to the Government, it is now the largest comprehensive health care provider as well as the health manpower generating organization in Bangladesh. The Annual Report provides a glimpse of this organization with particular focus on the achievement of the last Financial Year 2013-2014. 

DAB: The beginning of a journey, which goes on

Dr Mohammed Ibrahim first thought of diabetic care in the country. He realized that diabetes is such a disease where not only doctors but patients should be involved in the process of diabetic care. He thought the matter as a socio-medical care. Although the real extent of the problem of diabetes in the country was not evident, he could foresee the present picture at that time and organized a group of social workers, philanthropists and professionals. With the help of them he established Diabetic Association of Bangladesh (then Pakistan) on February 28, 1956. Primarily an adhoc committee was formed to run the organization. Later, on May 21, 1956 the first Office Bearers of the Association has been formed with the following members:

Major Dabiruddin – President
Dr Md Ibrahim – Vice President
Mrs Nurjahan Morshed – Vice President
Mr A M Salimullah Fahami – Secretary
Miss Tahera Karim – Joint Secretary
Dr M A Mannan – Joint Secretary
Mrs F Dosani – Treasurer

DAB: Started as OPD

Diabetic care was started in a tin-shed building at Segun Bagicha. The motto of Dr Ibrahim was `no diabetic patients should die untreated, unfed or unemployed even if she/he is poor’. So, he committed to give primary care to the diabetic patients free of cost irrespective of socio-economic, racial or religious status. Even rich patients were not allowed to buy the primary diabetic care, but they could donate money to the association. The resources and fund was raised through motivation programs.It is to be noted that, there were no indoor facilities initially at Segun Bagicha. Patients in need of hospitalization were sent to other hospitals. In the beginning of 70’s few short-stay beds were established to take care of the serious patients.

Dr M Ibrahim was very much aware about the quality of the service provided to the patients. He used to address the patients by saying that `we are grateful to you for giving us the opportunity to serve’. He also motivated other doctors to serve the patients with empathy. He included social welfare, health education, nutritional education and rehabilitation in the diabetes healthcare delivery system.