685 burning, self-immolation incidents this year
KABUL (Pajhwok): At least 685 burning and self-immolation incidents have been registered in Isteqlal Hospital in capital Kabul this year, with 55 of them lost their lives, officials said Saturday.
Seven of the incidents were of self-immolation where a man and six women had died as a result of serious injuries.
Last year, more than 700 persons were admitted to hospitals for burn injuries and self-immolation incidents out of which 95 of them succumbed to their injuries.
Dr. Mohammad Fazel, head of the nursing department in the hospital, told Pajhwok Afghan News the figures were only of the patients from Kabul and a handful of other provinces submitted to the hospital.
He said the countrywide figures were higher. Dr. Fazel said the causes for these burns were family disputes, financial challenges, and mental issues.
Malika 17 is a patient at Isteqlal Hospital with extreme burn injuries amid fading hope for life.
Her wailing mother said she suffered burn injuries in a gas explosion at her house and now there is no hope for her life. “I went to the market and she was cooking in the kitchen when the explosion happened.”
Shaista 18, another girl who was injured in a similar incident last month, was improving and could speak a bit: “The pressure cooker exploded when I was cooking. It burned me all over my body.”
Aqila 45, said she was heating her room when the balloon gas exploded injuring five members of her family, including her three and five year-old daughters.
The nursing head of Isteqlal Hospital said more than 50 percent of the incidents were due to balloon gas explosions. He asked families to take utmost care when it came to using gas at home.
Dr. Fazel added currently there were 35 burning patients in his hospital that had been injured in various incidents of gas, oil, ghee, electricity, pressure cooker, coal and acids.
Frost bites, he said, that was caused due to extreme cold in winters were also part of burning incidents and had no treatment except cutting of hands and foot fingers.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) told that this year 23 self-immolation incidents have been registered with the commission. Majority of them have led to deaths.
Rafiullah Bedar, media in charge of the commission, said public awareness, Islamic education and literacy have been the strategies used by the department in order to bring down the level of such incidents.
Because majority of such incidents are covered up by families of the victims, “we don’t have the exact figures of self-immolation incidents,” he added.
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