February 22, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Nepal has only 5 hospitals to treat burn patients

The Nepal Weekly
February 6, 2024

Only five hospitals in the country provide treatment of burns. Kirtipur, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Patan, Bir and Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospitals provide burn treatment services. Kirtipur Hospital is run by a trust while Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital at Sankhu is a non-government hospital. The remaining three others are government run hospitals. All these are within the Kathmandu Valley. Therefore, burn patients outside Kathmandu have no choice but to come to Kathmandu to get treatment. Among these hospitals, more than 50 percent of burn patients are treated in Kirtipur. Due to the increase in the number of burn patients during the winter, there was also a problem in getting beds.

According to Kirtipur Hospital, around 600 to 700 burn patients come to the hospital for treatment every year. In 2021, 623 patients were admitted in the hospital. Similarly, in 2022, 660 burn patients were admitted, including 327 women and 333 men. In 2023, out of 790 who reached the hospital for treatment, 367 were women and 424 were men. Of these, 13 to 20 percent died, according to the hospital sources.  Kirtipur Hospital has capacity of 100 beds. 

Sushma Koirala Memorial Hospital is the only one providing complete services in burn treatment. Ten percent of the patients who visit health institutions to treat burn injuries come to this hospital. In 2023, 1183 burns patients were treated at Sushma Koirala hospital. As serious patients are referred to Kirtipur Hospital, the death rate of burn patients in Sushma Koirala Hospital is low. Bir, Teaching and Patan Hospitals can only serve general burn patients.

Teaching hospital has been treating only 30-40 patients in a year. There is no ICU service here, so serious patients are referred to Kirtipur or Sushma Koirala Hospital. Even Patan Hospital, which has seven beds for burn patients, does not have an ICU facility. Therefore, this hospital also provides treatment services to patients with normal burns. Due to the lack of first aid for burns and the delay in getting them to Kathmandu, there are many cases of death while undergoing treatment. The government does not have the exact data of how many burn patients die without receiving timely treatment. The police said that there is no accurate data on burn cases as only acid attacks, geyser, heaters and suffocation deaths from coal are being reported.