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NGOs come to the aid of burn & acid victims 



September 7, 2000

Efforts by an Italian and a local NGO have led to treatment of at least 60 people with severe burn injuries. 

Three Bangladesh doctors have been sent to Italy for training inelastic surgery at the initiative of the Italian NGO. 

This was disclosed at a press conference at the residence of the Italian ambassador in Dhaka yesterday. 

Officials and doctors of the Italian NGO Cooperation international ( COOPI) based in Milan and the local Gana Shasthya Kendra (GH) spoke at the press conference on the progress of their joint endeavor in treating burn victims locally. It is usually a very lengthy and expensive process. They said. 

The representatives of the NGOs said the number of acid and other burn victims in the country are growing at an alarming rate and at this point of time only a limited number of victims were being treaded due to limited facilities and the lengthy process involved, they noted. 

Dr D Onofrio of COOI and Director of GK Nagar Hospital in the city Dr Mohibullah Khandaker, among others, spoke about the treatment facilities for such sufferers at hospital. Italian Ambassador Mario Filippo and Rosanna Massari, in Charge of Cooperation, Culture and Information at the Embassy were present on the occasion. 

On an average, 20 acid burn victims are being treated every month at the hospital. COOPI and GK intend to expand the program in the coming months, they said. 

In the first phase, focus will be given on surgical treatment of the victims. 

After some preparatory activities in May last year, the project started functioning in June this year. The first Italian personnel for the project included plastic surgeon Prof. Daniele Blandine and Head Nurse Roberta and they were later replaced by plastic surgeon D' Onofrio and Head Nurse Katia Sellaro. 

As per COOPI and GK plan, in the first six months , an Italian resident surgeon will be engaged in setting up a specialized burn treatment center at the GK Hospital, assisted by an Italian specialist nurse and a project manager. Three teams of specialist surgeons will come , each for two weeks, to help him. 

In the second phase of three years, focus will be on training of local health personnel and rehabilitation of acid burn survivors.

Source : The Daily Star 


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