By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: For those who admired his work, the memory of Dr Ejaz Tahseen, a pioneering medical doctor from Gilgit-Baltistan, still remains afresh. Tahseen passed away on May 21, 2014, at the age of 80.
He was one of the leading doctors in G-B and completed his MBBS from Khyber Medical College in Peshawar in 1969. After he graduated, Tahseen decided to start his private practice instead of joining government service. He did this so that he could continue social work in a region that lacked basic health facilities during the 1970s. There was hardly any clinic in Gilgit at that time.
When Tahseen set up his own clinic, he would charge patients a nominal fee. However, he offered his services for free for those who could not afford to shell out for his medical fees.
Waqas Khawar, a resident of Gilgit, told The Express Tribune, “Dr Tahseen was a man who will always be missed. He was a fatherly figure for many poor people.”
Sabir, another resident, said, “I knew him well. He would examine more than 50% patients for free every day.”
When contacted Zeeshan Ejaz, Tahseen’s son, told The Express Tribune, “My father was a kind-hearted man and always believed in welfare of humanity.”
He said in recognition of his services, Tahseen was nominated for three international awards, including an award by Who’s Who in the World,1991.
Tahseen was among those who carried out efforts to establish Public School and College Gilgit in the late 1970s. It was the biggest educational institute in the region. Later, he was appointed as the member of board of governors of the institution.
From 1973 to 1981, he served as director for rural health programme, during which 2,900 health guards were trained in G-B.
Of those, 900 were women who were trained on the pattern of China’s barefoot doctors to provide basic health facilities to the remote communities. At that time, 195,000 children were administered BCG vaccine, a vaccine primarily used to combat tuberculosis.
In addition to his social work, he also paid attention to politics and was one of the founding members of Pakistan Peoples Party in the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2016.