Behind the Scene
Dr. Mosharraf : A Friend to the Poor
Dr. Mosharraf Hossain, a medical doctor working for the society in silence, is a hero unsung. He has been like an angel to the poor patients as he renders services for them at a low fee, or more often free, every day. Dr. Mosharraf, a retired doctor, now nearly 75 years old is well-known for his sympathetic service to the poor. He sees patients at his own chamber at Dawn Pharmacy, located at Aampatti Road in the district town of Mymensingh.
Born on February15, 1929 at village Shahjadar Para of Chauhali in Sirajganj district, Dr. Hossain came to Mymensingh in 1940 with his family. His father late Abdur Rahman was a government employee who took permanent settlement in Mymensingh town. Dr. Hossain passed his Matriculation examination in 1945 from the local Zila School and did his Intermediate in 1947. He completed his MBBS degree from Dhaka Medical College in 1954 and did a diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 1974 from Dhaka University. He became an MCPS (Member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons) in 1977.
Dr. Hossain started his career as a health officer at the local municipality in 1955 and continued his service there till 1962 before joining the health centre of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) as its Chief Medical Officer. He worked there for about twenty years and then went on retirement from BAU health centre in 1990.
During the war of liberation Dr. Hossain treated wounded freedom fighters on various occasions taking risk of his own life. The doctor recalled that time with a shudder and said, “I kept a beard to avoid assault from the occupational Pakistan Army. I had observed from close quarters the brutality of the occupational forces.”
Dr. Mosharraf said that when he passed MBBS examination, doctors were not as commercial as they are today. “Like many others I took the profession with a view to serving the people and I developed this attitude from my family early in my boyhood. Men need to earn a living, but that should not be the sole purpose of life. I still believe in this idea very strongly because I am greatly touched by the poor peoples' love and gratitude for the slightest service they receive in time of distress. Though I could not amass huge wealth or vast property, I'm happy and contended to see these people's happy faces”, said Dr. Mosharraf with satisfaction.
As the doctor does not take recourse to the practice of employing agents for securing patients for him. The rush of patients at his chamber is thin. But this does not worry the doctor as he is satisfied with serving the people after his retirement from service. He says humbly, “Allah has given me solvency to run my family meet up almost all the necessary needs normally”.
Some 25 to 30 patients visit his chamber regularly, of whom five to ten patients get treatment free of cost. For the others, he charges a fee of TK. 100 per patient but even this he often does not get. “Most of the patients pay Tk. 30 to 50 as fees”, said the doctor. “But, I cannot bargain with the patients for fees. I depend on the patients' goodwill”, the doctor added smilingly.
“Many poor patients get medicines from the doctor as he distributes doctors' samples that he gets free of cost from various medicine companies among the poor patients”, said Abdul Gafur, a grocer thanking the doctor for the latter's humanitarian service. “It is our good fortune to have such a doctor in our district town who demands very little as fees”, said Mukul Rani Basak, wife of a jewellery worker. Jitendra, a tea-stall runner, Basanta Gour, an old man of over 70, Rumela Begum, Hamida Begum, among 50 others, all members of low income group who take free treatment from the doctor regularly expressed their gratitude for his noble service.
“I had a good chance to go for a better income job, but I preferred to render services to the people rather than running after wealth”, Dr. Mosharraf said. “I am happy as two of my sons- one, a doctor, is now posted at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital and the other, is a government employee”, added the happy doctor asking what more does a man need to lead a full life. Dr. Hossain wants to continue his service till the last breath of his life.
Three Free Friday Clinics are conducted under the free service of Dr. Mosharraf - at Kalibari Road in the district town, at Paranganj Bazar, a remote place in sadar upazila, and another at Muzati in Muktagacha Upazila. With the help of some generous persons' financial contribution and the doctor's voluntary dedicated service, these clinics have been giving free treatment and medicines to the ordinary poor people there. Md. Rukun Miah, a village doctor, helps him in this charity job. On an average 25 to 30 patients every day rush to each of these centres for treatment. The clinics have been functioning for the last eight years.
Dr. Mosharraf is also a member of Momenshahi Islami Sheba Sangstha, a charity organization for rendering treatment at free of cost. The doctor regrets that many doctors now-a-days prescribe unnecessary investigations on the part of the patients with the purpose of making monetary profit through getting commission which goes against the ethics of this profession. Doctors should never forget that people come to them being helpless.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006