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ORS Man Dilip Mahalanabis to be Posthumously Awarded Padma Vibhushan

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

Last Updated: January 25, 2023, 21:57 IST

Dilip Mahalanabis is hailed as the ORS pioneer. (Image: : Twitter/ @Edmondfernandes)

The ORS pioneer, who died in October last year, demonstrated the effectiveness of the simple and inexpensive yet effective solution while serving in refugee camps during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War

The man who pioneered the worldwide use of the Oral Rehydration Solution, or ORS, Dilip Mahalanabis will be posthumously awarded Padma Vibhushan in the field of medicine (paediatrics). A household staple now and prescribed mostly to combat water loss during illnesses like diarrhoea and cholera, ORS has globally saved over five crore lives.

Acknowledged as one of most important medical finds of the 20th century, ORS has reduced deaths caused by diarrhoea, cholera and dehydration by 93 percent especially in infants and children.

Mahalanabis, who died in October last year, demonstrated the effectiveness of the simple and inexpensive yet effective solution while serving in refugee camps during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. He had returned from the US to serve, administering the life-saving solution for the first time to refugees camping near West Bengal’s Bangaon.

He was 88 when he breathed his last in Kolkata. The man behind ORS, however, never patented his invention. In 1990, he was also posted as a clinical research officer at Dhaka’s famous International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research.

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