GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The number of cases of acid burns has risen in an alarming rate in Assam in the past few months, according to an expert from the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).
�Earlier, one or two cases were reported in a year. But in the past six months, we have got four such cases. It is alarming. Even a minor boy was among those cases. Fortunately, he is now recovering,� said Dr Seema Rekha Devi, head of the Department of Plastic Surgery and the burn care unit of GMCH.
Devi said that in the past few days, suicidal burn cases have also increased. �I cannot tell the exact number of suicidal burn cases reported in the past one year. But it is so high that it shows a very dangerous side of our society. Most of the cases reported involved teenagers. The main causes seem to be unrequited love, family disputes, etc. Most of the acid burn cases are due to domestic violence,� Devi said.
She said that earlier, most cases were of normal flames, but now electric burn cases have also increased. Earlier, most of the burn injuries were reported during winter, but now various burn cases are reported throughout the year.
�The one and only way to stall the rate of burn cases is to create awareness. From the beginning of the burn care unit at GMCH, we have been organising awareness programmes on burn injuries at educational institutions and offices. But much more awareness is needed in our society,� she said.
The burn care unit was established in 2013 as a national pilot project with a 12-bed facility.
A daylong programme on burn awareness and prevention was organised today by the department in collaboration with the Association of Plastic Surgeons of North East India, Assam Surgeons Association and Sanjibani Sangh, an association of woman doctors.
Journalists Wasbir Hussain and Pranay Bordoloi, innovator Udhab Bharali, body builder Mahadeb Deka, actors Nikumani Baruah, Preeti Kangkana and Debajit Mazumdar and singer Simanta Sekhar interacted with burn survivors.
An open quiz competition and documentary show on burns were also part of the programme, which was inaugurated by GMCH Principal AK Adhikari.