|Acid violence is a brutal form of violence that stems out of jealousy and revenge. It is both a vengeful and planned act with the intention of permanently dis¬guring a person. The mental trauma of the act often turns o a survivor’s ability to feel, leaving a person physically alive but dead inside. Acid attacks have traumatic consequences -physically, psychologically, and socially. Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) started its journey on 12th May, 1999 and since then ASF has been relentlessly working to eliminate this atrocious crime in Bangladesh. At that time, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) with an 8 bed capacity for burn treatment was the only hospital with a burn unit in Bangladesh. To complement the burn care unit at DMHC, ASF with the help of British High Commission and British Women Association started a 20 bed nursing care unit on November of the same year which came to be known as “Thikana”.When ASF started its work there was no ocial data available on the acid attacks. ASF in collaboration with BRAC developed a nation -wide noti¬cation and referral system.ASF operated a 24/7 hotline for reporting attacks and bring the acid victims to “Thikana” within 24 hours to receive nursing care and prepare them for further medical treatment. After receiving treatment from DMCH, the survivors would return to “Thikana” for nursing care to overcome the trauma and get back to their normal life.In 2001, with the help of Kadoori Charity Foundation a 15 bed operating facility was established at Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) and this started the journey of “Jibontara Hospital”.
Jibontara : At a Glance
1. 24 hotline for reporting attacks and referrals
2. 24 hours free treatment
3. With the help of partner NGOs a nation-wide notification system to arrange immediate treatment
4. First aid treatment for acid burn
5. Facilities to perform immediate surgery
6. Support from local and international surgeons
7. 24 hour ambulance service
8. 24 hour nursing facilities
9. Provide nutritional needs
10. Healthy environment with air circulation and sunlight
11. Counseling and psychotherapy
12. Provide essential physiotherapy service
13. Only registered non-government hospital providing free services for burn care
14. Legal aid and long term rehabilitation support
Quality Treatment Ensured: ASF aims to ensure that survivors have access to the best available medical care. 7 survivors in 1999 and 8 survivors in 2000 were sent abroad for medical treatment. Up till now 25 survivors have been sent to the United States and Europe for medical treatment.
ASF aims to establish the hospital as a centre of excellence in burn care. In 2001 ASF fi¬rst started collaborating with international surgeons from around the world to come to Bangladesh and work with their Bangladeshi colleagues and develop the capacity of local surgeons. For the last ten years a number of international plastic surgeons have dedicated their time to performing surgeries and training local surgeons in Bangladesh. To ensure that survivors have access to the best medical treatment many survivors are sent abroad for treatment that require Special attention from international surgeons.