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

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.


COVID-19 deaths top 4,000 in under-fire Sweden

Updated 25 May 2020

COVID-19 deaths top 4,000 in under-fire Sweden

  • The Public Health Agency said it had recorded 4,029 deaths and 33,843 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country of some 10.3 million inhabitants
  • Sweden’s death toll has far surpassed the tolls in neighboring Nordic countries, which have all imposed more restrictive containment measures

STOCKHOLM: Sweden, which has gained international attention for its softer approach to the coronavirus than many of its European neighbors, said on Monday its number of deaths passed the 4,000 mark.
The Public Health Agency said it had recorded 4,029 deaths and 33,843 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country of some 10.3 million inhabitants, with 90 percent of the deceased over the age of 70.
Sweden’s death toll has far surpassed the tolls in neighboring Nordic countries, which have all imposed more restrictive containment measures.
According to AFP’s own database, Sweden’s virus death rate of 399 per million inhabitants is far higher than Norway’s 43 per million, Denmark’s 97, or Finland’s 55.
However it is still lower than for France at 435 per million, Britain and Italy, both at 542, and Spain at 615.
Critics have accused Swedish authorities of gambling with citizens’ lives by not imposing strict stay-at-home measures. But the Public Health Agency has insisted its approach is sustainable in the long-term and has rejected drastic short-term measures as too ineffective to justify their impact on society.
The Scandinavian country has kept schools open for children under the age of 16, along with cafes, bars, restaurants and businesses, while urging people to respect social distancing and hygiene guidelines.
State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell of the Public Health Agency stressed countries’ death tolls should be compared with caution.
“In Sweden, anybody who has the diagnosis of COVID-19 and dies within 30 days after that is called a COVID-19 case, irrespective of the actual cause of death. And we know that in many other countries there are other ways of counting that are used,” he told AFP.
Tegnell has repeatedly insisted that stricter measures would not have saved more Swedish lives.
Three-quarters of those who have died have been either in nursing homes or receiving at-home care.
Tegnell noted that a ban on visits to nursing homes was introduced in mid-March, but said elderly residents needed regular contact with their carers — who were believed to have spread the virus around many nursing homes.
“I’m really not sure that we could have done so much more,” he said in a weekend interview with Swedish Radio, acknowledging nonetheless that the country had ended up in a “terrible situation that highlights the weaknesses of our elderly care.”
He said care homes had initially failed to respect basic hygiene rules that could have curbed the spread of the disease, but said the situation had since improved.
The Board of Health and Welfare meanwhile insisted Sweden’s nursing homes were functioning well.
It noted that a total of 11,000 nursing home residents died in January-April this year, compared with 10,000 during the same period a year ago.
And Tegnell told reporters Monday that the overall situation in Sweden “was getting better,” with a declining number of people being admitted to intensive care units, a drop in the number of cases being reported in nursing homes, and fewer deaths in nursing homes.