Dr. Halida Hanum Akhter: Our Silent Nightingale

Dr Halida Hanum Akhter is a renowned reproductive health epidemiologist with over 30 years of national and international experience. She is a medical graduate and obtained Membership of College of Physician and Surgeon (MCPS) in OB/GYN , MPH and Dr. PH from Johns Hopkins University following which, as a Rockefeller Fellow, she served as Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer (EIS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Atlanta, GA.

By establishing an institute for reproductive health research, Dr. Halida has proved her leadership abilities. Through conducting scientific study in Bangladesh, she contributed to the development of research capability in reproductive health. She has authored more than 40 journal articles and participated on numerous committees for the WHO in Geneva, the IPPF in London, the Packard Foundation’s alternative business model, and more. She assessed the reproductive health initiatives of the WHO/HRP, UNFPA, USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/IPPF, and the Ford Foundation while serving on the boards of Family Health International and PATH, both in Seattle.

But besides all these achievements and experiences of working on various national and international achievements, her most cherished and close to the heart experience was to contribute at the “Seba Sadan” or the Nursing Home, a Government of Bangladesh backed immediate initiative to support pregnant rape victims of the Independence War of Bangladesh during 1971.

Recently she has been awarded “G-100 Lifetime Achievement Award” for her contribution to reproductive health and rights of Bangladesh and family planning training programmes by Family Planning Association of Bangladesh, Society for Grameen Bangladesh and many other organisations as a renowned community maternity practitioner.

Source: Daily Bhorer Kagoj 

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