Crosspollination of knowledge
Burn Trauma Centres as a cooperative venture between Wish International and ORD
Creating links by bridging borders is one of the core elements of the PATRIP approach. In this cooperative venture with two partners of the PATRIP Foundation - Wish International (Pakistan) and the Organization for Relief and Development (ORD, Afghanistan) - PATRIP's cross-border approach has moved onto a new level. The joint creation of Burn Trauma Centres (BTC) - exchanging expertise at various levels - has formed a flexible bond between the two NGOs, creating a structure that acts as an umbrella for other cross-border effects such as treatment access for patients.
The concept of building burn-trauma/reconstructive and plastic surgery centres originates in the need for emergency treatment of patients with severe burns who come from remote communities in the tribal areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tadjikistan. To date, five Burn Trauma Centres have been built in the border region, three in Pakistan and two in Afghanistan, and they will start functioning in 2014.
Cooperation between the two NGOs developed as follows: Wish International supported ORD in the conceptual design (technical drawings, writing BOQs) and composition of the project funding proposal. In mutual visits to each other's project sites, management and technical staff shared their knowledge of implementation and workmanship. Wish International also conducted a series of staff training sessions in Pakistan in which Afghan doctors and paramedic staff participated on a regular basis. And the cooperation is being extended: in early 2014 Wish International requested ORD to share the technical documentation of their stadium construction projects.
After attending one of the staff training sessions held by Wish International, Dr. Muhammad Faheem from Shinwary BT Centre, Afghanistan, emphasized: "Apart from imparting professional training, these sessions have enabled the Afghan doctors to share their experience with their Pakistani counterparts. In Afghanistan we have limited resources to deal with burn trauma patients. Through this training we have learnt how to cope with the patients even when you only have limited resources [...]. We have learned a huge amount through these training sessions and look forward to implementing this knowledge in our own country."
During a visit to Afghanistan in 2013, the CEO of Wish International recommended that severely injured Afghan patients should be referred to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) Peshawar, Pakistan, for treatment in the Plastic Surgery Department.
Zara Bibi, an Afghan woman who was in a critical condition due to a cylinder explosion in her home, is one of those patients. Thanks to her regular treatment at HMC she has improved a lot, and comments: "Thank God because of the two organizations I have got my facial features back. I can now face my family and relatives. My hands are much improved and I can now do many things that were not possible due to my injuries."