Call for network of doctors to deal with burns
A two-day fire burn management course started in the port city of Chittagong yesterday with a call to build a nationwide network of doctors qualified to deal with burns and provide a sustainable solution to combat fire burns.
Speakers at the inaugural session of a course said around 2.33 lakh people, including 1.73 lakh children, suffer burn injuries every year in Bangladesh.
Some 18,000 of the burn patients are admitted to various hospitals while 3,500 of them succumb to their injuries, they added.
They called for creating mass awareness with emphasis on continuous cooling of burn injuries before rushing to a doctor or a hospital to reduce the risk of death.
A partnership of Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh (CIPRB) and Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA) organised the programme at the department of Paediatric Surgery at Chittagong Medical College and Hospital (CMCH).
The course titled 'Emergency management of severe burns', 3rd time in Bangladesh and 1st of its kind in Chittagong, was aimed at arming health professionals with the ability to provide effective treatment within the first 24 hours after injury.
As many as 48 doctors from different hospitals of greater Chittagong are participating in the course which will end on December 8.
Four faculties -- Kelly Waddel, Craig Quarmby, Siogham Commlly and Anne Darton -- from Australia and New Zealand, and eight from different government and non-government hospitals of the country are conducting the course as instructors imparting knowledge on treatment for different stages of burn injuries, the organisers said.
CMCH Director Brig Gen Farid-Uz-Zaman, Prof Tahmina Banu, head of Paediatric Surgery, and CIPRB epidemiologist Dr Saidur Rahman Mashreky addressed the inaugural session.
Stressing the need for creating mass awareness for prevention and first aid treatment of burns, the speakers said the number of deaths from burn injuries in 2000 was approximately 2.38 lakh globally with 95 percent occurring in low and middle-income countries.
Around 38 percent of such burns are reported in the country while the rest 62 percent remain unreported. Burns are the leading cause of injuries among one-year to four-year-old children and the second cause of permanent disabilities, they added.
Talking to journalists, Dr Mashreky said around 90 percent childhood burns occur at homes where open flames, hot objects as well as hot liquids remain as the main causes.
The first 24 hours of the burn injury is the most crucial time. Sadly 60 percent of the burn victims in the country seek health care from unqualified service providers, he observed.
Prof Tahmina, key instructor of the course, said CIPRB and ANZBA are conducting the course funded by Interplast Australia and New Zealand with an aim to provide training on emergency management of severe burns to one doctor in each upazila in the country.