Technology research and humanitarian Bangladesh: Prospects and possibilities
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed, Former Deputy Director General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy :
Recently a group of researchers from Shahjalal University in Sylhet have discovered the means to detect cancer in the human body through non-linear optic methods. Their team leader, Yasmeen Haq, is also from said university. From the study and research, it is assessed that the blood change is read by the application of high powered X-rays with the help of this device.
With this experiment the intensity of blood changes due to cancer will be under clinical trial. It is hoped this experimental device will achieve complete shape within the next year. This is a success of elementary research in Physics. But neither is it any less significant in the development of medicine.
This is undoubtedly commendable. Nowadays, cancer is one of the non-contagious diseases. The WHO reports that about 9 million people die from cancer every year while on average, 33 million people live with cancer. Death rate caused by cancer is higher than HIV-AIDS, Malaria and tuberculosis combined. According to the report from WHO, this will be great threat for the development of Bangladesh. Another report says that monetary loss of middle-income countries will stand at US $7 trillion.
There are many doctors in Bangladesh who are working in the research line of medical science and are contributing greatly, which in turn is improving the image of the country. In this context, we may mention the late professor Dr. ABFM Karim who is well known throughout the world. By his patronage, cancer specialist professor Dr. Richard Love of America, a group of computer scientist from Bangladesh, innovated “admonton symptom assessment model scale”, a mobile phone app which is now familiar worldwide. In 2006 professor Karim invited Richard Love and they both worked on breast cancer in Bangladesh and made a Bangladesh friendly guideline. An eminent cancer specialist like him worked in the southern districts like Khulna, Bagerhat, Jessor, Satkhira, Narail, Gopalganj. He has imparted training to the students of Khulna Medical College and inspired them to innovate research.
They have taken up another experiment by which blood pressure test is possible by photography of retina in mobile phone. The foreign physicians are engaged in medical research but it is unfortunate that we do not keep their records in our accounts; we even don’t maintain a list of them and above all, we do not have a plan to use their specialization and expertise. In Baltimore, there is a doctor Md. Rafiq, who is a Heart specialist andworks on Cardiac electro physiology in Japan, UK, USA; he took the initiative to bring a Bangladeshi doctor for training. Dr Rafiq often comes to Dhaka to provide training and medical treatment.
In research, medical science is the main problem is the money. In our country we have a small budget in research work but our government is very serious and sincere in this regards. Our honorable Prime Minister is very particular and highly eulogized.
The only problem is that these research works are restricted to paper only. Neither follow-up nor any application is found. In agriculture, especially in the line of jute and textile, our scientist Maqsud-ul-Alam discovered the genome sequence. Dr. Mongseno with a group of scientists have innovated the genome sequence of Hilsa fish. This is indeed a topic of great pride for Bangladesh. Now it is important for us is that we are to ensure the patent of innovative research. Without patents, it carriers no legal value, nor will it gain any recognition. Our patents are of weak standard and not at the par value of the world. For international recognition, we will have to work on joint-venture with foreigners with promise and commitment.
We are to be very careful otherwise our achievements may fall and outsiders will take it as their own. Our honorable Prime Minister is going to join the UN session in America. If she spares time and sits with our Bangladeshi researchers, it will boost morale and will be helpful for us. Consequently, our science and ICT research will be much more productive and meaningful. It will open up our prospects to serve humanity and help building a humanitarian Bangladesh.