Two weeks needed for BNP chief's full checkup

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Says the maedical board formed for BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

The medical board formed to examine BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said it would take around two weeks to start her main treatment as the doctors needed to assess her health first.

“Her main illness is pain in joints due to rheumatoid arthritis. She has uncontrolled diabetes and arthritis. It is necessary to bring those under control first,” Prof Abdul Jalil Chowdhury, head of the board and also a professor of internal medicine at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), told The Daily Star.

Talking to reporters at BSMMU, Prof Syed Atiqul Haq of rheumatology department said, “Treatment of arthritis needs some preparations, including treatment of infection if there is any…. If the results of some medical tests are found favourable and we get their [patient's] consent, we will be able to start her treatment after two weeks.”

Atiqul, a member of the medical board, visited Khaleda on Sunday night.

Replying to a query from a journalist, Prof Jalil said it was possible to provide “best treatment” of rheumatoid arthritis in the country.
He further said they decided to suggest some tests to assess Khaleda's overall condition to know whether certain medicines can be administered to her for treatment.

The physician, however, said the present treatment would continue.

The medical board members were supposed to visit Khaleda last night to seek her permission to collect samples of blood and urine for tests and conduct X-rays.

The doctors reiterated that it was not the right time for them to say how long the BNP chief would need to stay in the hospital.

Khaleda was moved to the BSMMU from Dhaka's old central jail on Saturday in line with a High Court order.

She was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. She landed in prison the same day.

On Thursday, the HC asked the authorities to set up a five-member medical board, including Prof Abdul Jalil and Associate Prof Badrunnesa Ahmed, a physiatrist of BSMMU.

The board cannot have any current or former members and supporters of Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad, a pro-Awami League doctors' paltform, or from Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB), a pro-BNP physicians' platform, the court ruled.

The three other members of the medical board are Prof Sajal Krishna Banerjee of cardiology, Prof Nokul Kumar Dutta, of orthopedic surgery, and Syed Atiqul Haq, of rheumatology. Of them, Prof Sajal was replaced by Associate Prof Tanjima Parvin of the same department on Sunday.

Khaleda, 73, has been suffering from problems in the knees and other ailments for long, according to government doctors who treated her since she landed in jail. Her personal doctors who met her in the prison said she suffered a “mild stroke” on June 5.

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