Burn Care Day in Guwahati, Assam (February 2019)

February 25, 2019
Richard Bendell

On the 19th and 20th February 2019, the Burn Care Foundation held its 5th Burn Care Day, an annual event to raise awareness of burn injuries in Assam. This was hosted at the District Library Auditorium and at Nemcare hospital. Over 700 participants attended the day , which was inaugurated by Dr Hitesh Baruah (President, Burn Care Foundation). Interburns team member Dr Bhupendra Prasad Sarma (Secretary, Burn Care Foundation) delivered an audio-visual talk, explaining the objectives of Burn Care Day, the problems of burn care in the north eastern states of India and the management of burns undertaken in the burn Unit of Burn Care Foundation.

Dr Sarma noted that with proper care, any patient with a major burn can not only survive, but also lead a normal and dignified life. He also emphasized the need of developing additional burn units and trained personnel in North-eastern India for the management of the ever-increasing number of patients with burn injuries. He highlighted the activities of Burn Care Foundation, including the Public Awareness and School Education Programs on Prevention and First Aid in Burns and the training programmes on Essentials Burn Care, organized in collaboration with Interburns throughout the north eastern states in the last 5 years.

Sri Dhirendra Nath Chakraborty, a Senior Journalist and the Chief Guest of the function, lauded the efforts of Burn Care Foundations in the development of burn care in the region. He appealed to the national government to make 19 February, every year as the National Burn Care Day. Smt Prostuti Parasar the renowned film and Stage personality of Assam, also spoke on the occasion as the Guest of Honour. In her speech, she offered her services in propagating the knowledge of Prevention and First Aid in Burns amongst the rural populations. Dr Shobha Chamania, Chief of Burn Unit of Choithram Hospital and Research Centre and a Co- Founder of Interburns spoke on First Aid and Prevention of Burn accidents to the general people and the students. A skit on Burn Care and Prevention, written by Dr Bhupendra Prasad Sarma and directed by Dr Nareswar Sarma, was presented on the occasion by the staff of Burn Unit and some burn survivors. It was highly appreciated by all.

In the afternoon, a Training Program based on Essential Burn Care was organized. It was attended by 20 doctors and 130 nurses. Dr Shobha Chamania, Burn Surgeon from Indore, Dr Bhupendra Prasad Sarma, Secretary, Burn Care Foundation, Dr Nareswar Sarma, Sr Consultant Surgeon, Nemcare Hospital, Dr Seemarekha Devi, Prof & Head Dept of Plastic Surgery and Burns, Guwahati Medical College and Dr Anant Sharma, Occupational therapist from Indore, formed the faculty. A demo scenario on Emergency care of Burn injured patient , was also demonstrated to the audience. The practical session of the training program was held on 20 February at Nemcare Hospital, where different dressing techniques, methods of splinting, massaging and pressure therapy were demonstrated. Interactive session and group discussions on fluid therapy, building of a burn team and psychological support to burn victims were also held. 150 participants were given certificates of training from the Burn Care Foundation.

Interburns would like to thank Dr Sarma and his colleagues for their continued work to improve awareness of burn injuries and the capacity for burn care in Northeastern India.