Last updated: 10 October 2017 From the section Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim
The Bangladesh Institute of Research and Rehabilitation in Diabetes, Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (BIRDEM) is the central institute of Bangladesh Diabetic Somoti. it is a multi-sectoral health care centre, educational and research institute located at Shahbagh area in Dhaka. The hospital is housed in a 15-storied building established on a government plot and financed by the government.
It has the largest diabetic out-patient turnover in the world under one roof and it is one of the largest health-complexes in Bangladesh providing almost all types of clinical and diagnostic facilities that is expected of a modern hospital. The hospital has 674 beds - among these 30% beds are free. Poor diabetic patients and case of academic interests are entitled to these free beds where all investigations and treatment (including medications) are provided without any charge. The in-patient departments have taken the characteristics of almost a general hospital, although diabetic and other endocrine patients are always given priority.
BIRDEM maintains a separate research department staffed by full-time researchers. With large number of international collaborations the institute is now widely acclaimed as one of the most advanced diabetic research centre in the world. In recognition of its innovative, extensive and high quality services BIRDEM was designated in 1982 as a 'WHO-Collaborating Centre for Developing Community-oriented Programmes for Prevention and Control of Diabetes'. It is the first such centre in Asia and the first of its kind outside Europe.
The clinical services of BIRDEM provide comprehensive diabetic care free of charge to all the registered diabetic patients. The fund collected by 'Cross financing' system i.e through medical care and diagnostic service to other patients, is spent for imparting free medical service to the diabetic patients. The patients are entitled to get medical supervision, consultations, diabetic education (which includes basic knowledge on overall health), advice on nutrition, social support and rehabilitation, if necessary. Insulin, oral hypoglycemic agents, and medicines are supplied free or at subsidized cost.
In 1986 the BIRDEM Academy was established with the objective of producing adequate qualified manpower for medical institutions in the country including BIRDEM. The Academy conducts diploma and degree courses like DEM, MPhil, MD and PhD in Endocrine Medicine. Besides, post graduation courses are also conducted on subjects like general surgery, ophthalmology, medicine, critical care medicine, etc, under the University of Dhaka and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
BIRDEM is one of seven institutions currently working as part of the Bangladesh Diabetic Association to serve people.
Dr. Ibrahim was very much aware about the quality of the service provided to the patients. He used to tell the patients: "We are grateful to you for giving us the opportunity to serve". His humility was legendary and most genuine. Deep empathy and compassion were characteristics of his dealing with his patients, especially those who were poor and in pain. 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. He believed that an institution achieves its goal and excellence not by bricks and mortars; nor by machine or metals but by its human resources.
Helping the aged
Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim was also involved in the care of the old and the aged. He was the chairman of the Bangladesh Association of Geriatrics during 1978-89 and helped to set up the Institute of Geriatric Medicine and Research. He was also Chairman of the Retired Government Employees Welfare Association from 1976-88. For his work on the old and the aged, he was elected a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of the Aged, London.
In 1963, the Pakistan government honoured Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim with the Sitara-i-Khidmat (Star of Service) award for his special contributions to medical science.
In 1979 the Government of Bangladesh awarded Dr. Ibrahim the Swadhinata Purushkar (Independence Day Award), the highest civilian award in Bangladesh. This was followed by numerous Gold Medal from various reputable organisations throughout the country, such as Begum Zebunnesa and Kazi Mahbubullah Trust (1981), Mahbub Ali Khan Memorial Trust (1985), Comilla Foundation, Comilla (1986), Khan Bahadur Ahsanullah Memorial Trust, Ahsania Mission, Dhaka (1989), and Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (1989).
First physician to become National Professor of Bangladesh
In 1984, in recognition of his great contribution to medicine and to humanity, the Government of Bangladesh appointed Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim as the National Professor of Bangladesh. He was first physician to receive such high distinction. The following year he became a Fellow of Bangla Academy (1985) and the year later a Founder Fellow of Islamic Academy of Sciences, Amman, Jordan (1986)
Passing & burial
On 6 September 1989 Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim passed away in Dhaka. His death anniversary is observed as 'Sheba Dibosh' (Diabetic Service Day) to endorse and honour his great contribution to socio-medicare services.