Professor Dr Shahida Akhter, a well-known child health specialist, passed away prematurely from liver cancer at 59 years of age on May 1, 2021. She was soft-spoken, introverted, humble and beloved by many people.
The most appropriate portrait of Dr Shahida would be as follows—a person and physician endowed with high morals, a symbol of ethical medical practice, an ardent promoter of health rights and health equity, and an activist who fought against all kinds of malpractice in health, including indiscriminate use of expensive life-saving drugs, over-prescription of antibiotics to children, and the practice of unnecessary and profit-driven caesarian operations during child delivery. She was also an uncompromising activist who fought against the unholy alliance of the medical-health-pharmaceutical industrial complex and worked to establish the oft-ignored right to health of ordinary citizens. In a nutshell, Dr Shahida, in her 35 years of medical practice, was testament to the Hippocratic oath, which she conscientiously went above and beyond in following.