Prof Dr Mohammad Ibrahim 

Born: 1911 Murshidabad-(British, India) Died: (Dhaka) 6 September 1989

 Background

Prof Dr Mohammad Ibrahim

(1911 – 6 September 1989) was a Bangladeshi legendary physician. He established Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM), the diabetes health-care and research institute complex in 1980. The Government of Bangladesh awarded him National Professor and the Independence Day Awardin 1978

Education

Prof Mohammad Ibrahim earned an Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1938. He served as a captain in the Indian Army Medical Corps. He became MRCP in 1949. He was made a Fellow of College of Chest Physicians (FCCP) in 1950.

Prof Mohammad Ibrahim had to walk several miles to school. Encouraged by his father to seek a higher education, he earned one of the few scholarships given to Muslim boys at the time.

Prof Mohammad Ibrahim passed his matriculation (or matric as it is popularly shortened to) exams from Salar Edward High School, Murshidabad, with marks in mathematics and his Intermediate (ISc) from Islamia College (now Maulana Azad College), Kolkata, the college attended later by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. In 1938 he graduated in Medicine (MBBS) from Kolkata Medical College, after that he started to work as a doctor. He gained the opportunity to work as house physician at the ward under supervision of the Professor of Medicine at Calcutta Medical College. Afterwards, from 1938-1945, he worked in the same institution as the Emergency Medical Officer and Senior Demonstrator at the Practical Pharmacy Department. From 1945-47, he served as Resident Physician at the college.

After the partition of British India into India and newly formed Pakistan, Professor Ibrahim moved to the eastern wing of Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh) and began work as a Civil Surgeon in Chittagong. At the same time, he served as a Superintendent at the General Hospital and a teacher of Medicine at Chittagong Medical College and Hospital. In 1948, Professor Ibrahim travelled to London, UK, to study at the world-renowned Royal College of Physcians (RCP) where he became a MRCP (Member of RCP) the very next year. The year after that, he was awarded FRCP (Fellow of RCP) from the American College of Chest Physicians.

In 1950, Dr. Ibrahim returned to East Pakistan where the Bangla-Urdu language issue was intensifying. It was during this tumultuous period he joined Dhaka Medical College as Additional Physician. Eventually, he was appointed Professor of Clinical Medicine and Medicine. It was whilst working at the Dhaka Medical College that Dr. Ibrahim specialised in the area that he became synonymous with – diabetes.

Academic Career

Ibrahim established Diabetic Association of Pakistan (later Diabetic Association of Bangladesh) on 28 February 1956. He also founded Diabetic Association in Karachi and Lahore, West Pakistan, in 1964.

Ibrahim established the diabetes health-care and research institute complex, BIRDEM at Dhaka in 1980 where the out-patients Centre of the Bangladesh Diabetic Association was shifted to. The institute is housed in two buildings, named the Ibrahim Memorial Diabetes Centre after his death in 1989. In recognition of its innovative, extensive and high quality service it was designated in 1982 as a “WHO-Collaborating Centre for Developing Community-oriented Programs for Prevention and Control of Diabetes.” It is the first such Centre in Asia. He established the Bangladesh Institute of Research and Training for Applied Nutrition (BIRTAN) and Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre (RVTC) in Dhaka to develop low-cost nutrition, and to give vocational training to poor and unemployed diabetics.

Ibrahim served as an adviser to the president, with the rank of minister in-charge of the Ministry of Health and Population Control, in the mid-1970

Ibrahim took part in drafting the government’s first population control policy and setting up National Population Council.

Ibrahim was a founder fellow at the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, Amman, Jordan in 1986.

 

Academic Carrier & Awards

Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim worked tirelessly to fulfill his vision of a healthy diabetes-free nation whilst simultaneously juggling his professional and academic responsibilities. In 1958 he served as the Governor at the Pakistan chapter of the American College of Chest Physicians. Four years later, in 1962, he received his FCPS (Fellowship of College of Physicians & Surgeons) degree – postgraduate training in specialties of Medicine – from Pakistan College of Physicians and Surgeons and served as the Professor of Medicine and Principal at Sir Salimullah Medical College and Hospital until 1964. During the same time, in 1963, the Government of Pakistan honoured Dr. Ibrahim with the Sitara-i-Khidmat state award for his special contributions to medical science.

In 1964, he was appointed Director and Professor at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Center in Karachi, West Pakistan. While in the western wing, Dr. Ibrahim opened two new branch of the Diabetic Association of Pakistan in Karachi and Lahore respectively and became the Chairman at the Karachi branch.

Three years later, in 1967, he received his FRCP (Fellows of RCP) degree from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in London, UK. The following year he began the Applied Nutritional Research and Training Program. From 1969-70, Dr. Ibrahim served as Chairman at the Pakistan National Science Council in Islamabad, West Pakistan.

Renamed to ‘Bangladesh Diabetic Somiti’ (Diabetic Association of Bangladesh) after 1971 Muktijuddho

Following the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 after nine-months of genocide, Dr. Ibrahim returned to the country and retired from government duty, engaging wholeheartedly in his work as a physician, in his social work and in the diabetic health care program. He renamed the Diabetic Association of Pakistan to Bangladesh Diabetic Somiti (Diabetic Association of Bangladesh or DAB for short). The organisation is also known by ‘Bangladesh Diabetic Association’ or BADAS for short. Initially when the organisation was formed in 1956 there was no indoor facilities at Segun Bagicha. Patients in need of hospitalisation were sent to other hospitals. However, by the beginning of 1970s few short-stay beds were established to take care of the serious patients.

Awards

  • Independence Day Award(1979)
  • Gold Medal by Begum Zebunnesa and Kazi Mahbubullah Trust (1981)
  • Gold Medal by Mahbub Ali Khan Memorial Trust (1985)
  • Gold Medal by Comilla Foundation, Comilla (1986)
  • Gold Medal by Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah Memorial Trust (1989)
  • Gold Medal by Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (1989)