I still do not understand the reason behind the intense media mania on Abdul Jalil. Mr Jalil was an important factor as GS and spokesperson of his party. But his shameful surrender of ideal and political stand only after one day of jail sentence is adequate to make him irrelevant in politics. But the sudden media hype over Mr Jalil’s recent ‘life threatening’ illness and emergency Singapore trip is very disgusting. Even after Mr Jalil left for Singapore, media keeps on pushing their pathetic reporting. Todays newspaper headlines were ‘Jalil wakes up from anethesia after two hours’, ‘Jalil talks’, ‘Jalil’s wife calls their sons’, ‘ Jalil’s surgery successful’, blah blah blah….
Most shameful of all is that there was no pressing emergency to send Jalil to Singapore. Medical journalism is terrible in Bangladesh. Whatever I could decipher is that Mr Jalil has kidney dysfunction. There are 20 million people in Bangladesh with Kidney disease, and between 20-50 thousand people develop kidney failure each year. Mr Jalil was also developing kidney failure. Kidney failure is a slow process. His options were to either start dialysis once there is total shutdown and I am pretty sure, by looking at his photos, he is not there yet (This may be months to a year from now) . Any sane approach was to be prepared for dialysis by preparing a vascular access in his arm through which dialysis may be started quickly once there is complete shutdown. Singapore physicians are doing exactly that. The surgery they are talking about in newspapers was this access procedure. And to be fair to Bangladeshi physicians, this procedure can be performed in Bangladesh. It is a very simple procedure and there are many physicians in Bangladesh who do it on a daily basis. And there are many people in Bangladesh who are continuing their job or running businesses while attending three times a week dialysis. The other option was kidney transplant. This is another stupid reporting. First, Mr Jalil is not even on dialysis, that means his kidneys are still functional. Transplant could be considered once a patient is on dialysis for a considerable length of time. And preparation for transplant may take years. First thing, one has to manage a good kidney. This is something you can not find in a medicine store in Singapore. Somebody has to donate it. I doubt Mr Jalil’s family members will donate their kidney. That means he has to buy a kidney. That further means that some poor soul in Bangladesh will have to sell his kidney. And even one simply can’t buy a kidney from just anybody. There has to be different kind of immune matching including blood group, HLA etc.
So all the media stuff about Jalil’s life was at stake and he had no option but to go to Singapore for emergency kidney transplant were all BS.
Jalil’s case is an example. After closely following all the events in Bangladesh, I can categorically say that I have not yet come across any single illness of any high profile political prisoner in Bangladesh who genuinely needs treatment abroad.
This government must release all the political prisoners. They must be released without any condition. No release should be under disguise and condition of parole for foreign treatment. There should be a limit to deception.
And this blog post is not even discussing a more fundamental question of the moral right of our political/ administrative leaders foreign trips for every minor medical care while the rest of the country has to depend on local services for the same treatments.