On his 10th Death Anniversary, Mr ATM Sarwar Hussain reflects on the life and accomplishments of his dear friend Dr. Alauddin. 

31st March 2021

Professor M. Alauddin, FRCS was a legendary ENT Surgeon of Bangladesh. Having obtained his MBBS degree from Sylhet Medical College he served his alma mater for some time. He then moved to the then Institute of Postgraduate Medicine and Research (IPGM&R), precursor of present Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) and joined the neurosurgery department. This department was then led by the legendary neurosurgeon, the late lamented Prof. Rashid Uddin Ahmed.

Dr. Alauddin had a life long dream of pursuing higher education, securing higher knowledge and higher degrees and making the application of his knowledge in the cause of the poor, impoverished people of his country. In 1973 Bangladesh, not yet out of the swaddling clothes of its infancy, groped under the devastation inflicted on it by the marauding Pakistan Army. She had few opportunities to offer to a young doctor in terms of higher learning and higher degrees. Always a congenital fighter Dr. Alauddin left his job at IPGM&R and bought a ticket for London. New to this City, he was thrown into a situation of palpable uncertainty. Not to be deterred, soon he launched himself in the look out for a job; lo and behold he got a job in the renowned Hackney Hospital in London. It was not a small feat in those days for a Bangladeshi doctor.

With unremitting zeal and indefatigable energy he continued with his job and simultaneously prepared himself for a Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO). With this British diploma it became easier for him to prepare for FRCS degree. His dedication and devotion paid off; shortly he was awarded the coveted degree. Prof. Crabtree, the illustrious President of the British Society of ENT Surgeons proudly remarked “Mohammed Alauddin has a safe pair of hands”.

On obtaining the much coveted FRCS Dr. Alauddin was offered the job of Senior Registrar at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

His heart lay in his motherland, Bangladesh; he was relentlessly seeking an opportunity to come back to Bangladesh and take the plunge. With his education, degree and training at the prestigious hospitals, he could live a life of comfort and enormous opportunities in Britain. No temptation, no enticement could waver him, he was always on course that he charted for himself. Like an able and astute sailor he knew for sure that his vessel would reach the shores that he dreamt of.

He was offered the post of Associate Professor, ENT diseases at Sylhet Medical College. It was gratifying and satisfying for him to join his alma mater, this time as an honourable teacher. In no time he was promoted as a Professor and posted at IPGM&R and then to Sir Salimullah Medical College, Dhaka. He did his stint there, to his own satisfaction and to the satisfaction of his patients and students alike.

A few years later he moved over to Dhaka Medical College as Professor and Head of the Department of ENT. When IPGM&R was elevated and converted to the first medical university in Bangladesh, Professor Alauddin was invited to join it as the Professor and founding Chairman of the Department of ENT.

Here at the BSMMU Prof. Alauddin discovered it to be a rewarding experience to be able to educate and train the potential specialists, the would be ENT surgeons.

He devoted himself wholeheartedly to his job; he played a pioneering role in designing the curricula, in charting out training programme, in conducting examinations and in awarding FCPS and other degrees and diplomas to the upcoming specialists.

But what would happen to his dream? His dream of bringing medicare to the poor and the impoverished at a cheaper cost?

With his courage of conviction he embarked upon setting up ENT Foundation which would be involved with extending services both medical and surgical to the poor at a nominal cost. Most of the services except the surgical ones are provided free of cost.

He worked day in and day out in translating his dream into reality. It was a herculean task. Accumulation of funds, acquisition of a plot of land, construction of a hospital with all the modern facilities, arrangement of professional advice by the specialists, facilities for surgical operations were sine qua non for a modern ENT hospital. It was a task few could envisage and envision.

All of a sudden he was diagnosed with lung cancer; any other ordinary mortal would have broken down and dis engaged from the onerous responsibility that he had to shoulder. As no enticement could deter him, so no intimidation of death could take him off guard. With indomitable courage and stoical fortitude he went ahead undaunted.

He left this world for his eternal abode on the 4th April, 2011. Only once he succumbed to any pressure; this time to inexorable death.
The ENT Foundation and Hospital at Agargaon in Dhaka is a fitting tribute to the services of this immortal soul. His achievements and attainments like a multi-coloured dome will stain the white radiance of time and place May his departed soul rest in eternal peace.