Burns and plastic surgery institute creates hope for Bangladeshi patients

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A burns patient receives treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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A burns patient receives treatment at the Sheikh Hasina Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute in Dhaka. (AN photo)
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Burns patients receive treatment at the Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute in Dhaka. (AN photo)
Updated 27 October 2018
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Burns and plastic surgery institute creates hope for Bangladeshi patients

DHAKA: “It was like a nightmare to me. I only noticed a spark from the electric switchboard and the fire broke out instantly causing me to be severely burned in the hands, chest and legs,” said Mohammad Shamim, 25, a patient of Sheikh Hasina National Burn and Plastic Surgery Institute.
Shamim was admitted to the hospital on Saturday morning after the fire at his factory.
“Here I am receiving the treatment and most of the medicines free of cost. The doctors and nurses are highly trained and cordial to me,” said Shamim, who received second-degree burns and will require two lots of surgery to recover fully.
Like Shamim, there are many other injured patients admitted to the burns institute, the only specialized burn injury treatment institute in the country.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the burns and plastic surgery institute last Wednesday.
“This 12-story burn and plastic surgery institute is the largest hospital in the world of its kind. It has 500 beds, 50 intensive care units, 12 operation theaters,” Dr. Samanta Lal Sen, coordinator of the institute, told Arab News.
He said that it will be an “one-stop treatment center” for burns and plastic surgery. Patients will receive the most advanced treatments from the institute.
The institute contains three different blocks: One is a burns unit, one a plastic surgery unit and the other will function as an academic wing.
“In this institute our doctors and medical professionals will get the opportunity to acquire excellence in their arena. At present we have the largest burns and plastic surgery institute in the world but we dream of being the best in providing treatment facilities,” Dr. Sen said.
The institute has a collaboration agreement with Singapore General Hospital as well as other renowned hospitals in Australia and India under which it will run training and research activities, he said.
It will take a few more months to run the institute at full capacity, Dr. Sen said. “We have a plan to invite world- famous doctors and plastic surgeons in this institute to interact with our local experts, which will eventually help the local professionals to enhance their expertise,” he said.
The Bangladesh government has initially spent $120 million in building the burns and plastic surgery institute, which will provide treatment, research and study facilities simultaneously with a workforce of 2,200 doctors, nurses and medical staff.


US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

Updated 19 April 2019
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US envoy ‘disappointed’ by collapse of inter-Afghan peace meeting

  • A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend
  • The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group

KABUL: The US envoy for peace in Afghanistan expressed disappointment on Friday after the collapse of a planned meeting between the Taliban and a group of Afghan politicians in Qatar that exposed some of the deep divisions hampering efforts to end the war.
A 250-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures had been due to meet Taliban officials in Doha at the weekend. The event was abruptly canceled on Thursday amid arguments over the size and status of the group, which included some government officials attending in a personal capacity.
“I’m disappointed Qatar’s intra-Afghan initiative has been delayed,” Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special representative for Afghan reconciliation, said on Twitter. “I urge all sides to seize the moment and put things back on track by agreeing to a participant list that speaks for all Afghans.”
The collapse of the meeting before it had even started, described as a “fiasco” by one senior Western official, laid bare the tensions that have hampered moves toward opening formal peace negotiations.
Khalilzad, a veteran Afghan-born diplomat, has held a series of meetings with Taliban representatives but the insurgents have so far refused to talk to the Western-backed government in Kabul, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime.
The Doha meeting was intended to prepare the ground for possible future talks by building familiarity among Taliban officials and representatives of the Afghan state created after the US-led campaign that toppled the Taliban government in 2001. A similar encounter was held in Moscow in February.
President Ashraf Ghani’s office blamed Qatari authorities for the cancelation, saying they had authorized a list of participants that differed from the one proposed by Kabul, “which meant disrespect for the national will of the Afghans.”
“This act is not acceptable for the people of Afghanistan,” it said in a statement on Friday.
Sultan Barakat, director of the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies in Qatar, which had been facilitating the meeting, said there was no disagreement about the agenda.
“Rather, there is insufficient agreement around participation and representation to enable the conference to be a success,” he tweeted.
Preparations had already been undermined by disagreements on the government side about who should attend, as well as by suspicions among rival politicians ahead of presidential elections scheduled for September.
The Taliban derided the agreed list of 250 participants as a “wedding party.” Some senior opposition figures who had been included refused to attend.
The Taliban also objected to Ghani’s comments to a meeting of delegates that they would be representing the Afghan nation and the Afghan government, a statement that went against the insurgents’ refusal to deal with the Kabul administration.