Remembering unique Dr Shabbar, WHO team member, who overcame once incurable disease

A brief news in the morning
newspapers Monday an
nounced passing away of Dr Shabbar Hasan, a renowned physician and little known fact that he was one of the founders of a an eminent Urdu daily. He was also the elder brother Dr Mubashar Hasan, a former Pakistan Finance Minister, close associate of ZA Bhutto and founder member of Pakistan People’s Party, at whose residence the party was formed.
Dr Shabbar, after graduating from the elite King Edward Medical College Lahore in 1941, had served Punjab Govt briefly before joining World Health Organization, where he spent his entire life and became a specialist on TB and lungs care. The disease before partition and for considerable lime even after independence remained an in-curable ailment which claimed a huge number of victims even after prolonged treatment and cure. I know this particularly that in our family eight members of our family including seven sisters and a brother of my father all had become victims even after long and expensive treatment and at young ages ranging from 12-18 years. One also now knows that our Father of Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, had been suffering from TB at a later stage but this was kept as a secret and he had spent his last days at a hill station Ziarat near Quetta.
It is with this background that despite being a healthy boy suddenly at a young age of around 16, my parents were shocked to discover that I had developed a lungs problem. Being the eldest of five children it was so shocking for my parents to find this aliment in their first-born child. Apart from a long and expensive treatment it was also near shocking for my parents.
From Montgomery now called Sahiwal, I was taken to Lahore, where we were introduced to a local physician, Dr Samad, located at Nicholson Road, It was through sheer good luck that he introduced us to Dr. Shabbar Hasan then based at Alexandria as a Director of WHO, as a specialist and visiting Lahore.
While in Pakistan, we were still practicing the age–old system of treatment based on basic drugs and pro-longed and somewhat uncertain results. Dr. Shabbar, proved to be quite different and cheerful who saw me twice, once at Gulab Devi Hospital, and secondly at Institute of Health and preventive Medicine, at Birdwood Road, using their screening system. What is more that unlike other doctors he did not claim any fees or cost me anything for consulting him.
He was quite ahead of all our contemporary doctors in Pakistan and laid down a revolutionary treatment, which required me to follow strictly for about one year. The result of this is that not only I fully recovered but pursued a normal healthy life including a sporting career, subsequently, which was like a miracle. What is more that never after this I have ever met the good Dr Shabbar, my lifesaver, although I have been in touch with his younger brother Dr Mubashar.
It is with utmost gratefulness of both myself and my parents who passed away long ago that I pay my humble tribute to unique and self-efacing Dr Shab-bar the likes of which are rarely seen in our country these days. My sincere condolence to the family of Dr. Shabbar, for their great loss.

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