1972: Certificate of Commendation – For contributions during the liberation war of Bangladesh.

1974: Swedish Youth Peace Prize – In recognition of Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury’s role in founding Gonoshasthaya Kendra and the provision of primary health care to rural communities.

1977: Independence Day Award (the highest honor from the Bangladesh government) – In recognition of GK’s innovative family planning and primary health care programs.

1985: Ramon Magsaysay Award (Popularly known as the “Asian Nobel Prize”) – In recognition of Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury’s role in community leadership and GK’s contribution in the formulation of Bangladesh’s first National Drug Policy, in 1982.

1989: Mowlana Bhasani Award

1989: Real Admiral Mahbub Ali Khan Memorial Award – For special contributions to the health sector of Bangladesh.

1992: The Right Livelihood Award (Popularly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”) – In recognition of GK’s role for the development of primary health care and formulation of the National Drug Policy in Bangladesh.

2001: One World Action Award

2002: Public Health Heroes Award (University of California, Berkeley, USA) – In recognition of Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury, for bringing health care to the underserved rural population in Bangladesh.

2007: Fr. Tong Memorial Award (Voluntary Health Association of India [VHAI]) – For GK’s notable contribution to the health and development sector.

2009: Doctor of Humanitarian Sciences (World Organization of Natural Medicine, Canada).


Numerous other awards have been given in recognition of GK’s activities and Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury’s role as a Freedom Fighter, community worker, social activist, and innovator in the fields of health care, education, women’s empowerment, and disaster management.