DMCH Burn Unit
Reshma (10 years in 2012, from Banuripara, Barisal), one of many burn victims who was supported by SpaandanB. She was burnt from neck to knee by the flame of an oil-lamp and admitted into DMCH burn-unit. After initial medicinal service, SpaandanB installed a solar light at her house so that she and her two siblings can study at night. No need to light up a dangerous oil lamp.
“A project to alleviate the suffering of burn victims.”
A field report from Rishin, a SpaandanB representative:
Despite the incredibly horrible conditions I knew I was to face in the Burn Unit of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, I was not afraid. Nor was I hesitant. For I knew that, while many of these patients may be in the most grotesque and painful conditions of any in the hospital, many of them were also the easiest to help. For a burn patient, the deciding factor between a small scar and a life of shame, pain and extremely unsightly features can often be something very small, such as the availability of bandages or ointments. Since my last visit to the unit two years ago, much had changed.
Burn is an extremely impressive injury that can cause death, disability, and trauma. It can also cause the psychosocial issue that can haunt the victim for life. In Bangladesh each year on average 400,000 people gets affected by the thermal, electrical and chemical burn. Close to two-thirds of burn victims are due to thermal causes, almost one-third is due to electrical accidents and a small amount due to chemical and explosives. Majority victims are from working class people who are under-educated and financially disadvantaged. Dhaka Medical College is the central reference point, many of these victims are sent to the capital for government supported treatment at the burn and plastic surgery department. This causes a huge influx of patients at the DMCH which runs into a hard time to adequately provide services. Even though medical service is free at DMCH, in most cases patients need to pay a minimum fee for medical and surgical materials. Many of these patients are coming from so poor background that they can’t even afford to pay that minimum fee. SpaandanB comes to play in this respect and tries to provide the minimum financial support to these victims. SpaandanB officials work closely with the doctors of the burn unit. When a doctor feels that a patient needs financial service, he/she refers the case to SpaandanB. Based on the case, SpaandanB Bangladesh office disburses the fund in one or multiple installments. In a few select cases, SpaandanB takes the service to one more step to rehabilitate the patients. Time to time, SpaandanB procures equipment for the center to increase the impact.
In 1999, the TV program ABC 20/20 featured a report on the acid burn victims of Bangladesh. Majority of them were women who were deliberately victimized by barbarous individuals. Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), being the central referral hospital, received those patients. But at that time the Burn Unit of DMCH was not sufficiently equipped to handle the special needs of burn victims. There were only 8 beds for such patients in the whole country! Moved by this, few kind-hearted individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area started this project with SpaandanB to help the distressed people. Along with support to burn victims, SpaandanB also sponsored the first five Cleft-Lip Operation Camp run by DMCH Burn Unit in collaboration with DMCH Department of Anesthesiology.