The President, Nigerian Burn Injuries Society (NBIS) Prof. Peter Olaitan, has appealed to the Federal Government to establish a well-equipped Burn Centre in each of the six -geopolitical zones in the country.
Olaitan made the appeal during 25th and 13th Scientific Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (NAPRAS) and NBIS on Thursday in Calabar.
He said if Nigeria had six well-equipped centres in the six geopolitical zones, cases of burn injuries would be properly handled and prevent further complications.
Olaitan said although as at present, some new Burn Centres were being established, the nation could not boast of an adequately equipped centre comparable to what obtained abroad.
He explained that the situation had slowed down the activities of NBIS in caring for burn patients.
According to him, the role of NBIS is actually to prevent and treat burn injuries when they occur, thereby reducing complications.
“The facilities are not just adequate. So I appeal to all Chief Medical Directors (CMDs) to assist in equipping the burn units available in their centres while the Federal Government needs to establish regional burn centres in the zones.
“A lot of medical personnel from Nigeria have gone abroad for training. They have the knowledge and skill but they come back to find out that the facilities to practice are not here.
“The first role of my association is prevention, it means educating the masses because most of the cases of burns we get are domestic, involving cooking gas, kerosene stove and electric appliances due to poor handling.
“When we are able to achieve this, the next thing is, when a burn incident occurs, how should it be managed to minimise the effects.
“This is why we talk of well-equipped facilities to care for burn patients,” he said.
Olaitan also called on the management of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to look into the scheme and see how they could include burn patients who are on health insurance scheme for them to benefit.
According to the president of the organisation, such policy becomes important because a lot of people could not afford burn treatment.
He, however, appealed to medical personnel to send patients with burn injuries to the right facilities, adding that burn injuries were serious and should be handled by experts to avoid complications.
“If you have a patient with burn injuries that is extensive, the first thing to do is to refer such a patient to a Burn Centre for proper care.
“Doctors must learn that burn injuries are not what every doctor can handle, you must be knowledgeable and practising for some time,” he said.
Edited by Kamal Tayo Oropo/Dada Ahmed