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National Burns Awareness Day’ Announced for Annual Commemoration in Pakistan

By: Maleeha Irfan

ISLAMABAD: In response to the urgent need to address the alarming prevalence of burn injuries and related fatalities in Pakistan, a historic decision has been made to establish a National Burns Awareness Day. The announcement came following a two-day intensive meeting held at the Syndicate Room, School of Dentistry, organized by the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) in collaboration with the Burn Care Centre, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto University of Medical Sciences.

With approximately 11 million burns and 265,000 burn-related deaths occurring annually worldwide, the World Health Organisation has labeled this issue as a forgotten global public health crisis. Pakistan, where 90% of these incidents transpire, is particularly susceptible due to inadequate prevention measures and rehabilitation services.

The meeting, attended by esteemed burn and plastic surgeons, mental health professionals, and delegates from national and international institutions, aimed to finalize Burn Care Bundles for survivors and propose the establishment of a designated day to raise awareness about burn injuries across Pakistan.

Dr. Muhammad Rehan, representing PIMS, underscored the significance of addressing burn cases in Pakistan, acknowledging the Burn Care Centre’s efforts in providing state-of-the-art facilities under the leadership of Prof Dr. Tariq Iqbal.

Prof Dr. Tariq Iqbal emphasized the necessity for postgraduate teaching programs to enhance burn rehabilitation services, while Prof Saeed Ashraf Cheema and Prof Muhammad Tahir pledged their unwavering support to the initiative.

Ms Amna Noureen presented the Burns Winter Roadshow, a community outreach program aimed at educating various sectors about burn prevention and management. Ms Tayyaba Kian shared poignant stories of burn survivors, highlighting the profound impact on individuals and families.

Prof Nasim Chaudhry, CEO of PILL and Chief Investigator of the NIHR Burns Rehabilitation Programme, expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, underscoring the importance of improving outcomes for burn survivors.

Minister National Assembly, Mr. Abdul Latif Khan, reiterated the national responsibility to address burn incidents and pledged to collaborate with policymakers to table legislation marking the National Burns Awareness Day.

Following deliberations, all stakeholders signed a resolution to formally designate a National Burns Awareness Day. The resolution will be presented to the Parliament of Pakistan and subsequently to the President for approval.

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