Colombo National Hospital’s (CNH) Burns and Reconstructive Surgical Unit, which was empty during the COVID-19 pandemic, has filled with patients again, the Head of the Surgical Unit Consultant Surgeon Dr. Dulip Perera said.
Dr. Perera told the Daily Mirror that the increasing number of patients with burns has become a social issue. He said 11 patients are currently being treated at the Burns Treatment Unit.
“It is tragic that six of them are women. If it's a male patient, the cause could have been an accident. However, if it's a woman, the cause is immolation. Though the female patients show this was done in an attempt to commit suicide, the untold reason is intimidation and fear caused by either the husband or other family members,” Dr. Perera said.
He said these patients suffer continuously from physical and psychological complications due to burn injuries and disfigurement.
Pointing out that no one should set themselves on fire, Dr. Perera said the cost the government has to incur for such patients was colossal and said it is rather appropriate to spend funds on the patients who are willing to live.
Dr. Perera said providing counselling and guidance to children at school level was essential to prevent women from immolating. Dr. Dulip Perera
He said social activists should take steps to look into the issue.
(Text and Pix by Rekha Tharangani Fonseka)