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Increased Self-Immolation, High Burn-Related Mortality Rate in Iran


NCRI Staff

NCRI – According to head of Iran University of Medical Science’s Burn Research Center, the country’s number of self-immolation cases is on the rise while nearly 30,000 people are hospitalized each year due to burn injuries, a too high figure considering Iran’s population.

In an interview with state-run ILNA news agency on Sunday December 24, Mohammad-Javad Fatemi pointed to self-immolation as one the most tragic types of burn, saying “it’s quite commonplace in such areas like Ilam, Kordestan, Kermanshah, Sistan and Baluchestan, and northern Khuzestan.”

“People who attempt self-immolation are more likely to die compared to other patients, since a high percentage of their bodies get burnt”, says Fatemi.

Fatemi says that 30,000 Iranians suffer burn injuries each year, reminding that “this is a too high rate considering Iran’s population, as the figure only accounts for those patients who need to be hospitalized due to their severe and extensive burns.”

Pointing to the country’s high burn-related mortality rate, the head of Burn Research Center said that “even those who stay alive after being burned have to suffer its serious complications for the rest of their lives.”

According to the official, it’s now 40 years that caring for burn patients is simply forgotten and the hospitals’ facilities for treating such patients are in a tragically poor state.

Fatemi reminded that according to a Ministry of Health’s estimate, number of burn recovery beds in the country’s hospitals is currently 1,350, while it should have reached 2,400 by the end of 2015. Besides, most of the beds are non-standard and “many of them are in deplorably poor conditions, so that by no means are they suitable for hospitalizing and caring for patients with burn injuries.”
The head of Burn Research Center then points to some other problems in this area, saying “there are only 150 ICU burn recovery beds in the entire country, burn patients as well as flame resistant clothing are uninsured, rehabilitation of burn patients is abandoned, burn centers in some hospitals are turned into other sections, and burn patients’ social and psychological problems are neglected.”

Pointing out that a lot of burn patients lose their lives due to severe infections, Fatemi says that shortage of manpower, non-standard hospitals, antimicrobial resistance in burn centers, improper use of antibiotics, lack of access to new generation of antibiotics and lack of new wound dressings are among the reasons why post-burn infections couldn’t be controlled.

Head of Iran University of Medical Science’s Burn Research Center had in an earlier interview with regime’s IRIB news agency said that the number of country’s burn patients is eight times higher than the world average, which has led to the country’s higher than the world’s average burn-related mortality rate.

According to state-run Fars news agency, Iran’s Legal Medicine Organization reported on December 24 that 1,106 Iranians died due to burn injuries in the first eight months of the year. 618 of the victims were men and the other 488 were women, the report says.

With 139, 130, and 117 deaths, the three provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, and Khuzestan have suffered the most burn victims over the period, respectively.

The fact is that Iranian women, men, and youth attempt self-immolation and suicide to protest against poverty, oppression, discrimination and inequality. The dimensions of the disaster have expanded so much that some regime officials refer to it as an epidemic.

It’s quite clear that due to a censure policy, regime refuses to release real self-immolation and suicide figures. But even these manipulated figures released by regime media could reveal the disastrous dimensions of the phenomenon.