Experts call for investments to address manpower and resource crunch in burn care

PTI Nov 29, 2018

Leading doctors on November 28 called for greater investments to address manpower and resource crunch in burn care and sought funds for undertaking research for arriving at cost-effective treatments for burn patients.

Experts also stressed on running prevention and awareness campaigns at the district level to lower burn incidence while outlining problem areas, and ways to improve burn care in India. The problem areas were divided into social conundrum, economic factors, shortage of trained manpower, and poor infrastructure for communication and coordination to address manpower and resource crunch, they said.

The 19th Congress of the International Society for Burn Injuries from November 30 here will press forward specialised burn care in resource restricted countries of the world, said the ISBI president Dr William G Cioffi said. "It is our privilege to host our Congress in India. The ISBI is looking forward to share its learnings from around the globe as well as learn from experts here. The congress will press forward specialised burn care in resource restricted countries of the world," he added.

It aimed to promote the concept of one world and one standard of care for patients suffering from thermal injury. It will also hold training sessions on caring for the burn-injured patient in resource-restricted countries. "Our country registers a very high incidence of burn injuries. Over 250 cases of burn injuries were reported by various hospitals in Delhi this Diwali alone in spite of the ban on crackers.

"There is a need to approach burn care as a multi-faceted process, only then we will be able to create systems that are favourable for burn patients in our country, said Dr Rajeev B Ahuja, immediate past president, ISBI and senior consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Dr Ahuja said that India registers about 7,00000 to 8,00000 burn admissions annually. The high incidence makes burns an endemic health hazard. Social, economic, and cultural factors interact to complicate the management, reporting, and prevention of burns.

Research suggests women belonging to lower socio-economic groups are at a very high risk of sustaining burns. The commonest mode of burn injury is a flame burn. Most such incidents are related to malfunctioning kerosene pressure stoves, he said.

"We at ISBI acknowledge that the models of burn care differ in various countries of the world, and cost effective treatment modalities and mechanisms need to be worked out in developing countries. The conference provides a unique opportunity to learn from other countries and world renowned experts who are committed to achieve one world and one standard of care for burn injuries, said Dr Ahuja.

According to WHO, burns are a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 180,000 deaths annually. The majority of these occur in low-and middle-income countries and almost two thirds occur in the WHO African and South-East Asia regions. In India around 7 million people suffer from burn injuries each year with 1.4 lakh deaths and 2.4 lakh people suffer with disability. Burn death rates have been decreasing in high income countries, the WHO said.

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