The long and tireless efforts of senior plastic surgeon Prof Tahir Khan and his team finally yielded in 2018 which resulted as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa got its first and state-of-the-art 120-beded Burns and Plastic Surgery Centre.
It was in 2011 when work was launched on the Burns and Trauma Centre with funds to be provided by the federal government and the Workers Welfare Board (WWB). Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its adjoining tribal areas required a public sector hospital because itremained the worst victims of terrorism since 2001 and hundreds of people suffered losses in bomb explosions, suicide attacks and airstrikes, including drone strikes.
Majority of the people suffered burn injuries in these incidents of violence and lost their lives due to lack of a proper burns and trauma centre in the province. Those who could afford were taken to the Pakistan Army-run Burns Hospital in Kharian.
In the province, there was one specialized plastic surgery department at the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), but it remained overburdened and patients were made to wait for more than two years for their surgical procedures.
DrTahir Khan said most of his colleagues were disappointed but he never gave up hope. He approached the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the provincial government for help by informing it about the plight of burns victims in KP and Fata.
The USAID in 2017 agreed to provide $15 million for procurement of equipment and the remaining civil work. The KP government also released Rs300 million for the remaining civil works.
The KP government has approved 347 positions for the centre, including director, two professors of burn and reconstructive surgery, associate professors, assistant professors, deputy medical superintendents, senior registrars, junior registrars, nursing director, anesthetists and several other technical and non-technical jobs.
Some of the people took personal interest and helped arrange funds for the project. “A few of them like former chief secretary Mohammad Azam Khan, ex-secretary health Abid Majeed, secretary finance Shakeel Qadir, and obviously USAID, C&W and PDMA were incredible,” he remarked.
In the 120-bed centre, 50 beds reserved for burns patients and the remaining for patients requiring plastic surgery and reconstructive services. The centre has eight-bed ICU, 12 beds each for male and female acute burn patients along with 12 beds reserved for children. There are eight operation theatres, including two each for trauma and burns (major and minor) and four for elective cases. The centre provides the services six days a week and utilize all the available resources to provide the best quality services under one roof.