BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in hospital for over a month and her health condition continues to fluctuate. As a result, she cannot return home for now, her personal physician AZM Zahid Hossain said.
Zahid Hossain told Prothom Alo on Wednesday, at present Khaleda Zia’s health condition is very critical, which is why members of the medical board have kept her under round-the-clock observation.
Khaleda Zia has undergone treatment after she was admitted to the capital’s Evercare Hospital for medical tests on 9 August. Physicians said she suffers from severe liver, heart and kidney problems.
Earlier, on 28 November 2021, the medical board that treats the BNP chairperson told a press conference that Khaleda Zia has been suffering from liver cirrhosis. Since then, she has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding several times.
Prothom Alo talked to a senior member of the medical board treating Khaleda Zia on Tuesday. This board member said Khaleda Zia's liver has become nearly non-functional because of cirrhosis. As a result, her liver complications increases and she risks bleeding.
Cirrhosis hampers regular function of the liver including the digestive process, blood clotting and dietary and nutritional systems. Khaleda Zia suffers from all these problems, this board member added.
The board member also stated that Khaleda Zia's three main body organs – liver, heart and kidney -- are not functioning at a time due to liver cirrhosis. When liver complications increase, physicians treat it, by then kidney or heart complications appear, forcing the physicians to treat her accordingly. As a result, Khaleda Zia has been undergoing round-the-clock treatment. Many medicines for this treatment risk side-effects and physicians are treating her carefully to avoid the side-effects.
Since physicians are treating Khaleda Zia keeping her under a round-the-clock observation, it is not possible to take her home now. As her health condition remains unchanged, physicians cannot provide any specific time for her release either.
Urgent liver transplant
The members of the medical board have been suggesting better treatment for Khaleda Zia aboard for the past two years. Now they advised an urgent liver transplant abroad. Physicians said they have tried their best and given Kaldeza Zia the best treatment for liver complications within the existing medical facilities available in the country, and they have nothing to do anymore.
Sources said the family of the BNP chairperson appealed to the home minister in writing attaching the medical board’s documents and sought permanent release of Khaleda Zia to treat her abroad.
A member of Khaleda Zia’s family said they did not receive any good response from the government. Following the family’s appeal, the sentence for Khaleda Zia was suspended for six more months. However, a senior official of the law ministry said there is no legal option to release Khaleda Zia permanently to send her abroad for treatment.
Recently, Khaleda Zia has been in the hospital for a long time. Earlier, she was admitted to Evercare Hospital for five days after she fell ill at night.
In June last year, Khaleda Zia underwent an angiogram and a stent was inserted after three blockages were found in her heart. She has long been suffering from arthritis, diabetes, kidney complications, liver ailments and heart disease. She contracted Covid-19 in 2021 and has fallen ill several times since then for which she had to undergo treatment at the hospital.
Khaleda Zia was sentenced to five years imprisonment on 8 February 2018 in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. She was sent to jail on that day and later the High Court extended the sentence to 10 years.
After that Khaleda Zia was sentenced to another seven years in jail in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. In March 2020 when Covid broke out in the country, the government suspended her sentence for six months at the request of her family. She has been staying at her Gulshan residence since then. The government has extended her release term by six months several times.