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Meeting with an old Friend & well-wisher

Shaukat Ali Jawaid

I started my professional love affair with medical journalism in February 1966 and over the years I have met and learnt from thousands of healthcare professionals at home and overseas. Being a keen observer and learner, I have always tried to learn from everyone and whatever I have achieved professionally, I am indebted and grateful to the medical profession who taught me all this. No one has ever said No to me and was always willing to teach, help, guide and assist me. Hence I always try to keep in contact with all those whom I met during my earlier professional career. Hence today’s column is related to a meeting with an old friend and a well-wisher.

It was in 1972 that I visited Larkana on the invitation of late Dr. Mrs. Ashraf Abbasi who also served as the Deputy Speaker of the Pakistan National Assembly to cover an Eye Camp. She also organized our visit to the local civil hospital where I for the first time met Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry who was consultant physician at the hospital. Later when PM Zulfikar Ali Bhuttoo established Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Nazimabad Karachi, Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry was one of the faculty members who was affiliated with this hospital. I had personal friendship with many of these consultants Prof. Ejaz Ahmed Vohra being one of them and it was my routine to visit Abbasi Shaheed Hospital once a week to meet all these friends and often we had tea together either in the room of Prof. Ejaz Ahmad Vohra, or Surgeon Haque Nawaz Arab or Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui. Hence I often had opportunity to meet and talk to Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry as well.

Later Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry started taking active interest in College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan. He was appointed Director of Medical Education at CPSP and it was in those days that I organized the first three days Workshop on Scientific Writing at CPSP in 1995 with the objective of train the trainers. Prof.Sultan Farooqui helped me a lot in organizing this workshop and all this was coordinated by Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry. He along with Prof. Younus Khan conducted the CPSP elections held at Quetta in 1992 which was a historic and memorable event which later on had a great impact on the way the CPSP had to be run and managed.

He retired form Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and established a private healthcare facility in memory of his wife Mumtaz Hospital in North Nazimabad which now his daughter is running and managing. I went to see him last month and we had an hour log meeting wherein we recalled the past and also discussed the present state of affairs in health sector. We recalled many of those faculty members who were members of the first team of consultants at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital when it was commissioned but are no more in this word. Some of those include Surgeon Haque Nawaz Arab, Surgeon Prof. Shameem, Dr. Yousuf Siddiqui Pediatrician, Dr. Yasmeen Akbani Pediatrician, Dr. Javed Ophthalmologist who was Medical Superintendent, Dr. Moin Qureshi who was Deputy Medical Superintendent, Prof. Ishtiaq ENT Surgeon, Dr. Bashir Ahmed Orthopedic Surgeon just to name a few.

When I started my other publication a scientific journal with the title of” Specialist” later renamed as Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, I and my mentor and our founder Chief Editor who was also very friendly with Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry invited him to be the Guest Editor of a special issue devoted to Geriatric Medicine. We published that issue at a time when this specialty was almost unknown in Pakistan.

Dr. Ehsanul Haque Chaudhry now in his late 80s, suffered from Covid and though luckily survived but his lungs were seriously affected. Now he lives on C PAP therapy for about five and a half hours at night and about two hours during the day. An Oxygen Cylinder placed in the coroner of his bedroom is his permanent companion. Otherwise he is happy and keeping good health. His movements are a bit restricted. Responding to a question he said that most of the time is spent on reading Tafseer of Quran Pak and looking at Medscape on the net. Though I no more practice medicine but I try to keep myself abreast with latest development in medicine. His children look after him and one of his daughter lives with him. He looked quite happy with the life he has lived so far and expressed his gratitude to Allah Pak for his enormous blessings. Though we did have some difference of opinion on certain issues but we have always remained friends and remain friends till today. We respect each other’s views. May Allah Pak bless him with good health and happiness.


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