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In a first, Karnataka set to have burns policy

As of now, the state has only two burns units equipped to deal with third-degree injuries.

Published: 05th October 2017 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2017 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

Kashmiri Pandits celebrate Dusshera festival by burning fire crackers at TRC ground in Srinagar on Saturday evening. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Burns victims in the state will get employment opportunities, compensation, housing, employment and insurance soon if the State Policy on Burn Injuries comes through. Health minister K R Ramesh Kumar on Tuesday held a three-hour meeting with NGO Vimochana, which has been working with burns patients for the past two decades, to discuss the draft policy. It may be introduced in the next legislature session. If introduced, the policy will be the first of its kind in the country for burns victims.

It talks about allround rehabilitation of burns victims with housing, employment, compensation, insurance, etc. Though the minister has not made any commitment on the budgetary allocation for the policy, he has instructed the NGO to work with the Health Department on fine-tuning the policy, Donna Fernandes, founder of Vimochana, told Express on Wednesday. “He has agreed to give `3,000 compensation to burns victims, like what acid attack victims get. We have asked `2,000 more from the Medical Education Department.

Currently, the treatment does not include physiotherapy, it is not holistic in nature. We have proposed trauma care, counselling, gender research and rehabilitation. The minister said the policy has no meaning unless there is a law and that he is willing to take it up in the November session,” Donna said. For a population of 6.5 crore, the state has only two burns units equipped to deal with third-degree burns — Mahabodhi Burns Centre at Victoria Hospital and St John’s Medical College Hospital, both in Bengaluru. Mahabodhi treats 180-200 patients per month, all of whom have sustained more than 30 per cent burns. St John’s Hospital treats 150 patients over an entire year as their burns unit is equipped with just six beds. In 2012, 589 out of 830 women admitted to Victoria Hospital’s burns ward died.

PRIORITY AREAS

Cruelty, criminality and legal implications (Filing medicolegal case, documentation,dying declaration, recording of dying declaration)
Evidence collection
Prevention of burn injuries/violence (neighbourhoodwatches, Bell Bajao)
Employment to burns victims/survivors
Compensation (grounds similar to acid attack victims)
Blood and skin donation camps exclusively for burns victims/survivors
Dressing and nursing
Training in current medical trends and sensitisation of personnel in various departments
Cleanliness standards for maintenance of burns wards and safety of victims under care (restrooms, infection control, hygiene practices while patient handling)
Psychosocial support to victims and caregivers

WHAT IS A BURN INJURY?

A burn is an injury to the skin or other organic tissue primarily caused by heat. Skin injuries due to ultraviolet radiation,radioactivity, electricity or chemicals, as well as respiratory damage resulting from smoke inhalation, are also considered to be burns. - WHO

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