Pacemaker implanted on Bangladesh’s ex-PM Khaleda’s heart

Pacemaker implanted on Bangladesh’s ex-PM Khaleda’s heart

A team of physicians has completed the work of implanting a pacemaker on the heart of critically ill former prime minister and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Begum Khaleda Zia, who is now undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital.

Her personal physician, Professor AZM Zahid Hossain, confirmed the matter on Sunday evening.

‘Madame [Khaleda] had heart problems before. That’s why there was a block in the heart, a stenting was also done.’

He said that after reviewing everything, the medical board decided to implant a pacemaker in Khaleda’s heart.

‘Pacemaker implantation is complete. She has now been kept under intensive observation for 72 hours,’ Zahid said.

Pacemaker helps keep the heart in a regular rhythm, he said, adding that this device also monitors if the heart is beating properly.

Khaleda was rushed to Evercare Hospital in an ambulance at around 3:30am on Saturday after she suddenly fell ill at her Gulshan residence.

She was quickly admitted to the CCU, where her medical treatment began under the supervision of a medical board.

The former prime minister, aged 79, has long been battling various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, and issues related to the kidneys, lung, heart, and eyes.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that Khaleda was not allowed to go abroad for advanced treatment due to political vengeance.

‘The medical board of Evercare Hospital has repeatedly said that it is not possible to treat the disease of Khaleda Zia here [Bangladesh]. To treat her multiple diseases, a multi-disciplinary hospital in a developed country is needed…,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said at a prayer session on Sunday.

BNP organised the prayer session for Khaleda Zia’s recovery at the party’s Naya Paltan central office.

‘Even though it has been said repeatedly by the party, by the family, by the civil society and foreign missions here, international organisations, and the European Union, the government ignored all requests,’ he said.

Fakhrul said that prime minister Sheikh Hasina intentionally deprived Khaleda of advanced medical treatment overseas out of personal political vendetta to lead her to death.

Law minister Anisul Huq, after a training programme for judges in Dhaka, said that there was no scope for sending Khaleda Zia abroad for treatment under the existing law.

‘I have not received any new words from them [BNP or Khaleda’s family] regarding allowing her to go abroad,’ ‘Under the law, there is no scope for sending her abroad,’ Anisul told reporters at the Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI).

Fakhrul said that it was unfortunate to see Khaleda Zia in critical condition on her deathbed without receiving necessary medical treatment abroad.

He alleged that the BNP chief had been imprisoned for a long period due to the vindictiveness of the current ‘oppressive fascist’ government.

‘In completely fabricated cases, she has been imprisoned to remove her from politics. Although she was allowed to stay at home, she is actually under complete confinement and remains imprisoned,’ Fakhrul said.

He said Khaleda fell ill while staying in Old Dhaka Central Jail, but no medical treatment was provided to her there.

‘She complained repeatedly, but the government did not pay heed and did not provide her medical care. Later, when she was taken to the hospital [by the jail authorities], she did not receive proper treatment there either,’ the BNP leader said.

Since her conditional release from prison in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving medical care frequently at the hospital under the supervision of a medical board headed by cardiologist Professor Shahabuddin Talukder.

Khaleda’s doctors have been advising sending her abroad since she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in November 2021.