Did you know that burns are a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 1,80,000 deaths on an annual basis? According to the World Health Organisation, in India, over 10,00,000 people are moderately or severely burnt every year.
Acid attack survivors, who lose their eyebrows and hairline in the attack, are also a part of the above numbers.
While many of them are able to undergo skin grafting and other cosmetic procedures to help them lead a close to normal life, many others are not able to afford these procedures.
In an attempt to help these survivors, the Atijeevan Foundation in association with the Stanley Medical College and Hospital in Chennai conducted a three-day workshop to equip doctors with skills which will enable them to perform such hair transplants.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, V Ramadevi, the Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery of the hospital, “This workshop is the beginning of hair transplant procedures that the department is going to do. Through this workshop, we want to train doctors on hair transplant and also create awareness among people that such transplants are being done here free of cost.”
At most private hospitals, such hair transplants would cost anywhere between Rs 1 lakh-Rs 3 lakh.
Given that a majority of the burns survivors would find this price point unaffordable, the hospital also plans to undertake hair transplant surgeries for them, free of cost.
These surgeries will be conducted under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme, which is the flagship scheme for mass health insurance in Tamil Nadu.
This scheme has been appreciated by many and also bagged several awards over the years.
According to a report published in The Hindu, the plastic surgeons are learning the techniques from Dr Vivek Kumar Saxena, a Lucknow-based cosmetic and plastic surgeon. Around 20 survivors, who had lost their hair and eyebrows to burns, underwent hair transplantation at the live operative workshop. The surgery was streamed live and another 100 doctors seated in another room were able to see and learn.
Here’s hoping that other hospitals also follow suit and help burns and acid attack survivors gain back a sense of normalcy.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)