The word ‘Nuclear’ is not well understood by the general mass. For someone it is a horrifying word related to nuclear bomb of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But actually it is not always such. Nuclear Medicine is a technology developed for diagnosis and treatment of human diseases through the understanding of biochemical and physiological processes with the use of radioisotopes. The energy of these radioisotope comes from the nucleus of the atom, an vivid example of peaceful application of nuclear technology.
Bangladesh has a long and rich history of nuclear medicine for over sixty years. Way back in 1958, work for the first facility was commenced in Dhaka in a tin-shed known as ‘Radioisotope Centre’ and was officially inaugurated in 1962. The Institute of Nuclear Medicine (INM) was established in 1980 and started functioning in 1981. The first computerized gamma camera was installed in 1981, first single headed SPECT in 1994, first double headed SPECT in 2003, First SPECT-CT in 2008 and first PET-CT in 2010. At present there are 25 establishments all over the country performing nuclear medicine activities with state-of-art equipment’s including SPECT, SPECT-CT and PET-CTs
As the subject grew gradually, the need of forming a body to coordinate the activities of the nuclear medicine personals and to bind them under one platform was felt badly. The Society of Nuclear Medicine, Bangladesh (SNMB) was established in 1993 with Prof. Kamaluddin Ahmed as the founder president and Prof. M A Karim as the founder general secretary. It may be mentioned that, SNMB was established primarily for promotion and development of scientific activity of nuclear medicine and allied sciences in the country. SNMB functions actively for the promotion and consolidation of the subject. Annually it holds conferences and seminars to enrich the members. The first national conference was held in 1994 in Dhaka. It is also publishing its official journal, “The Bangladesh Journal of Nuclear Medicine (http: banglajol.info/index.php/BJNM)” regularly since 1997. It has also successfully organized international events like Asian Regional Cooperative Council for Nuclear Medicine (ARCCNM) conferences in 2003 and 2010. The society also has close relationships with international organizations like IAEA, AOFNMB, ASNM, WFNMB, WARMTH etc.
The society now stands on a solid foundation and has now more than 140 members and considered one of the vibrant and active medical societies in the country as well as one of the most active NM societies in the south-east Asian region.
The progress in science and technology is always challenging in a developing country. Let us all join hands together and with the coordinated approach we shall move forward. I really hope and believe that SNMB is a vital platform for progress of nuclear medicine not only in our country but also in the region. Looking forward to even brighter days ahead.
Long live SNMB. Long live Bangladesh.
Prof. Dr. Raihan Hussain