By Faranak Bakhtiari

National Doctor’s Day: a salute to our healthcare warriors

August 22, 2020 - 11:13

TEHRAN – Although the important role of doctors in our lives was all clear to everyone, the outbreak once more has shown us how immense is the contribution of doctors and medical staff in extreme circumstances and how hard the saving of a nation is.

In Iran, National Doctor's Day is commemorated on the first day of the sixth calendar month of Shahrivar (this year falling on August 22) commemorating the birthday of Avicenna, the distinguished Iranian physician, and writer of 'The Book of Healing', who is regarded as the father of early modern medicine.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, physicians and doctors have been recognized for their selfless devotion and efforts this year. Working around the clock, fighting at the frontline against the pandemic, putting their lives in danger made us salute and admire these exceptional caregivers.

The sacrifices made by the medical staff to treat the coronavirus patients, when all their relatives were forced to leave them, the medical community stood still that many of them even lost their lives.

Since March 25, it is reported that 164 healthcare workers in the country have lost their lives due to the coronavirus infection, according to Es’haq Jahangiri, Iran's first vice president.

Here, we will remind some of the brave doctors who have been leading the battle against COVID-19 at the forefront, and their uttermost commitment to keep the nation safe in these challenging times was truly exceptional but are no longer among us.

Not just a doctor, but a father

Dr. Vahid Iravani, neurologist, born on March 23, 1964, was graduated in general medicine from Ahvaz Jondishapur University of Medical Sciences, who did not give up humanity during the outbreak, not thinking about his own life, and continued to serve the patients who came from far and near.

It was in the first days of March that he developed symptoms of a cold, rested at home for a few days, and as soon as he got a little better, he went back to work. But this recovery did not last long, the corona had penetrated the doctor's body and involved his lungs. He became ill again, this time much more severely, his wife also became ill and the two were hospitalized; but there was no way back for the doctor and left us on March 14.

Seyedeh Monireh Kazemi, his wife, says nothing but humanity when talking about him.

"His patients believe that Dr. Iravani was not just a simple doctor, but just like a father, he helped not only with medicine and disease but also with our problems. For example, if the patient was an unemployed young man, he was trying to find a job," she says.

A sincere person sought to help others

Dr. Gholamreza Fakhri, an anesthesiologist and intensive care specialist, was born on January 21, 1971, in Bushehr city. 

He first studied general medicine at Semnan University of Medical Sciences and then specialized at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 

A physician whose history of compassionate service to patients is well known to his colleagues and patients. A person who served in the field of intensive care for patients with COVID-19 in Noorafshar Hospital from the earliest days of the outbreak, until finally martyred on April 17, after enduring 5 days in the ICU of Masih Daneshvari Hospital. 

Of course, martyrdom was not a new path for the family in which he grew up, and before that, his brother, Mohammad Javad Fakhri, had been martyred in 1983 in Iran-Iraq war.

Dr. Marzieh Pourakbari, his wife, emphasizing on his kindness and humanity and said that he always tried to provide services to those in need; he served at all times and in all circumstances and never thought about money and salary.

"He was only eager to serve the patient. It was the love of service to others that made us remember him today as a heavenly man. We lived together for about 24 years and I testify that he was not an ordinary man and sincerely sought to meet the needs of others," she said about Dr. Fakhri.

Always at the frontline

Dr. Habibollah Peiravi, vascular surgery specialist and former chancellor of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, born on August 19, 1957, is one of the physicians who fought against the epidemic but lost his life on March 9. 

A doctor who was not only a doctor, but according to his wife, dedicated his whole life to untying the knots of his patients' problems, and he was a friend for his patients that even gave up his life in serving the people.

Dr. Shirin Niromanesh, his wife, who is also serving patients in obstetrics and gynecology these days, says that the doctor had a very gentle spirit and wanted to choose the field of pediatric surgery as a specialty, but due to the Iran-Iraq war conditions, he chose the field of general surgery, because it seemed that he might have been more able to serve the wounded during the war.

The doctor was frequently present in the front line hospitals over a four-year period during the war, and he served the war-wounded around the clock, she added.

He visited many patients free of charge, and provided financial assistance to those patients in need; his main concern was to educate more knowledgeable students and thought that the more capable his students were, the better prepared they were to serve the people, and this was his reward, she said.


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