Dilip Mahalanabis Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

Dilip Mahalanabis

Dilip Mahalanabis (1934-2022) was an Indian pediatrician, scientist, and public health expert. He is famous for his invention of oral rehydration solution (ORS) to treat diarrhea. In 2022, he died of lung infection at the age of 87.


Dilip Mahalanabis was born on Monday, November 12, 1934, in Kishoreganj, Bengal Province, British India (now Dhaka District, Bangladesh) (age 87; at time of death). His zodiac sign is Scorpio. He graduated as a paediatrician from Calcutta Medical College in 1958. He gained a Diploma in Child Health (DCH) from the NHS. He later gained Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP(UK)), the UK’s postgraduate medical diploma. He created history by becoming the first Indian to be appointed Registrar of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London.

Dilip Mahalanabis when he was young

Dilip Mahalanabis when he was young


Height (approximately): 5′8″

Hair Color: Salt and Pepper

Eye color: black


Parents and siblings

There is not much information about his parents and siblings.


He was married to Jayanti Mahalanabis, who passed away on July 9, 2021.

Dilip Mahalanabis and Jayanti Mahalanabis

Dilip Mahalanabis and Jayanti Mahalanabis


Oral rehydration therapy (ORT)

In the 1960s, he worked at the International Medical Research and Training Center at Johns Hopkins University in Calcutta, where he studied oral rehydration therapy. During the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971, there was a serious refugee crisis, and many refugees sought asylum in India. Cholera has become the main cause of death among these refugees, with a case fatality rate (CFR) as high as 30%. To assist government and non-governmental organizations in responding to this crisis, JH-CMRT has deployed professional and paramedical personnel to refugee camps. Dilip Mahalanabis and his team operated along the border between India and East Pakistan, setting up a treatment center in Bongaon to provide basic medical services. Mahalanabis and his team believed that, based on research at the time, oral rehydration therapy alone could be effective in preventing fatal dehydration in the early stages of cholera infection. He prepared an oral rehydration solution (ORS) containing 22 grams of glucose, 3.5 grams of sodium chloride and 2.5 grams of sodium bicarbonate per liter of water and gave it to patients in cups. Over 8 weeks, they treated 3,700 patients and only 135 died (a mortality rate of 3.6%), a significant decrease from the previous mortality rate of 30%. In individual tents, the rate was even lower, at 1%. At the time, Dr. Dhiman Barua, head of the World Health Organization’s bacterial diseases unit, supported Dilip’s treatment at the World Health Organization and Unicef ​​after visiting his camp in Bongaon; however, other scientists were skeptical of his treatment. doubtful of the findings. The journal rejected his paper, and it took another seven years for ORT (oral rehydration therapy) to be accepted. He did not patent his ORS formula.

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other works

From 1975 to 1979, he worked in the WHO cholera unit in Afghanistan, Egypt and Yemen. In the 1980s, he advised the World Health Organization on bacterial diseases. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was appointed medical officer for the World Health Organization’s Diarrheal Disease Control Programme. In 1990, he became a clinical research officer at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B). Later, he was promoted to Director of Clinical Research at ICDDR. In 2004, he collaborated with Dr. Nathaniel Pierce to develop a better version of ORS. This improved version is designed to be more effective at preventing dehydration from all types of diarrhea. It also has the potential to reduce fecal production.

Awards, Honors, Achievements

  • 1994: Elected as a foreign academician of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • 2002: Inaugural Pauline Prize for Pediatric Research
  • 2006: Prince Mahidol Award
  • 2023: Padma Vibhushan (legacy)


He died on October 16, 2022, at a private hospital in Kolkata, West Bengal due to lung infection and other age-related ailments.


  • He is considered the father of ORS.
  • In August 2017, he donated his life savings of Rs 1 crore to the Institute of Child Health, Kolkata.

Categories: Biography
Source: HIS Education

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