Dilip Mahalanabis: The Pioneer of Oral Rehydration Therapy

by Gyanvitaranam

Dilip Mahalanabis (12 November 1934 – 16 October 2022) was an Indian paediatrician known for pioneering the use of oral rehydration therapy to treat diarrheal diseases. In the mid1960s he did research on cholera and other diarrheal diseases at the Johns Hopkins International Center for Medical Research and Training in Calcutta, India.

Mahalanabis gained national fame after saving millions of lives through his oral rehydration solution during an outbreak of cholera while serving in a refugee camp at Bangaon in West Bengal during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. Oral rehydration therapy is a solution used to prevent and treat dehydration.

Life and career

Mahalanabis was born in undivided Bengal’s Kishoreganj in 1934. Mahalanabis joined Calcutta Medical College’s paediatric department as an intern after graduating from it in 1958.

The establishment of Britain’s National Health Service in the 1950s, for which....

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