A doctor’s midas touch for “poorest of the poor”

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Endeavoring to address the “poorest of the poor” in letter and spirit, with rare skill and acumen, amid honesty and sincerity across slums and cities, in countries and continents is uniquely a divine and masterly a healing figure of Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta.
This doctor’s able, noble, humble and gentle contribution is convincing WHO policies to turn into practical reality the efficient and effective treatment of persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition establishing lady health workers (LHW) as foundational members of community-based interventions in Pakistan, South Asia and the sub-Saharan Africa.
Government of Canada awards Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta with Pride of Performance, John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award for his work on development and evaluation of evidence-based interventions in child and maternal health for marginalized populations on outcomes for life’s ‘first thousand days’ covering areas as pregnancy, childbirth and development phases in first two years of life.
“I receive this award with the greatest humility on behalf of my team and colleagues who have worked on many of these issues diligently over decades,” said Dr Bhutta. “This is a recognition of the power of international collaboration and teamwork in addressing some of the complex problems affecting the what he works for the poorest of the poor.”
“Developing a unique collaboration between centres in Pakistan, Britain and Canada, Dr. Bhutta has mobilized cluster randomized effectiveness trials (cRCTs) to gather data used to shape and improve evidence and intervention packages for community based maternal and newborn care, nutrition, and early childhood care and development”.
“Recognition by Gairdner tells the world that AKU’s very own Dr Bhutta has made life better for thousands of people in the countries where we seek to serve,” notes Dr Carl Amrhein, Provost and Vice President, Academic of the Aga Khan University. “Our Chancellor, His Highness the Aga Khan exhorts our University to aspire to create Impact, Quality, Relevance, and Access, known as IQRA; Professor Bhutta’s work embodies these aspirations. We are enormously proud of all he has accomplished thus far, and all he will achieve in the years ahead.”
Globally, Dr Bhutta’s work has been the foundation of multiple international guidelines, including changing World Health Organization policy on the treatment of persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition along with establishing lady health workers (LHW) as foundational members of community-based interventions in Pakistan, South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
His work provided the basis for the “Lancet 10” nutritional interventions used to inform international policy on malnutrition. Over the last two decades, his work on evidence-based interventions has helped guide global action plans to improve newborn health and survival.
Dr Bhutta worked in low resource areas, using sustainable interventions as community support groups, low-cost packages of drugs and commodities affordable to disadvantaged people. Through systematic investigation and analysis, he established the foundations for current understandings of maternal and child health in rural, remote and conflict affected regions and improved survival and outcomes.
At AKU, Dr Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta holds the title of Distinguished University Professor – the highest faculty rank the University can confer – as well as an Award of Distinction and Award of Excellence in Research, 2021. He also received the Roux Prize for turning evidence into value adding health impact.
He is the founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health and Institute for Global Health and Development at the AKU; and Co-Director of SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health and Policy, a Senior Scientist in Child Health Evaluative Sciences program at The Hospital for Sick kids Toronto.
Dr Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta FRS was trained as a physician in Pakistan in the early stages of his career. He holds titles across various organizations in diverse geographies. He was educated at ?Aga Khan University, Khyber Medical College Peshawar –
His intensive research interests include Global Health, Child Survival.and Public Health Nutrition.