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Sunday, February 28, 2016

China offers help to set up burn units


Patients suffering from burn injuries visiting medical college hospitals in Dhaka and Chittagong could soon be in for better access and treatment. The China National Electric Import and Export Corporation (CUEC), a Beijing-based foreign trade company, has expressed its interest in helping Bangladesh-establish modernised burn units in divisional medical college hospitals across the country. The offer comes in the wake of rise in the number of burn patients crowding hospitals. Due to countrywide violence, patients have been deprived of proper care as burn unit facilities are not available. The offer of help came when Wu Fudao, Chief Representative, South Asia Division of the CUEC, who wrote a letter to the Project Director of the National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, Dhaka, expressing their interest in extending support to set up burn units in divisional medical colleges.
Terming burn units as an extremely specialised area of medical care, Fudao, in his letter called for technical cooperation with a Chinese hospital for better care. He further informed that several top Chinese hospitals are eager to contribute towards the people of Bangladesh and Sino-Bangladesh friendship. 
Fudao, in association with the Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, a leading hospital in China for burn injuries, has offered assistance in design, supply, building, commissioning, technology-transfer, knowhow and maintenance of equipment, including financing from China on a government to government basis for the setting up burn units. A draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been enclosed with the letter offering assistance.
“We have also discussed funding with our government and EXIM Bank regarding loan financing of the burn units that will not only cover Dhaka or Chittagong, but also Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Barisal and Khulna,” Fudao said. The actual terms and conditions of the financing will be negotiated and finalised between China and the Economic Relations Division (ERD), he added.

According to the draft MoU, CUEC will ensure support from the Embassy of China and the ministries and departments in Beijing to secure Chinese funding at the earliest. Regarding setting up of the “Burn Units” in Dhaka and Chittagong, the draft MoU says funding could either be in the form of grant-assistance or concessional loan, whichever is available at the earliest. Similar units will follow in the medical college hospitals at Rangpur, Rajshahi, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Barisal and Khulna at the shortest possible time.
Meanwhile, the ERD has sent a letter to the Embassy of China stating the Bangladesh government's emphasis on the development of burn units in different medical college hospitals. The letter affirms the government's interest in implementing a project titled “Development of Burn Unit of Dhaka and Chittagong Medical Colleges hospitals” under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The main objectives of the project include upgradation and expansion of the hospital and treatment facilities; specialised treatment to burn victims; training doctors, nurses and support staff on modern clinical management of burns and conducting research on burns for developing an improved management protocol.
So far, scores of people have been injured in violent attacks across the country during the non-stop blockade, with a large number of arson attacks being carried out on highways. Hundreds of vehicles, including those belonging to law enforcers, have been attacked and burnt. Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina had recently told parliament that over a hundred people were killed and over 850 vehicles torched since the BNP-led 20-party alliance began its agitation. Making things worse, inter-city transport services have come to a grinding halt.
The victims of this deadly violence lost their lives mainly due to arson attacks on buses and cars, the PM had said. The 20-party alliance has been enforcing non-stop blockade in protest against the “confinement” of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia since January 5.

The Independent, 18 March 2015