The number of paralysis patients is rising alarmingly with the increasing number of road accidents across the country, said spinal surgery specialists at a workshop.
Around 5-6% of people injured in road accidents suffer spinal injuries. Government hospitals, as well as private, have to step up facilities in treating these patients, they said at the concluding ceremony of a workshop on "Basic Techniques of Thoracolumbar Spine Fixation with Live Operative Course" at the Bangladesh Spine and Orthopaedic General Hospital in Dhaka on Sunday afternoon.
Prof Dr Shah Alam, course coordinator of the workshop and chief constant surgeon at the Bangladesh Spine and Orthopaedic Hospital, said the two-day workshop was very effective for spinal surgeons in Bangladesh to enhance their skills.
"The number of patients paralysed in road accidents is very concerning. The government and private healthcare centres need to ramp up their services and skills. Otherwise, it will not be possible to treat so many patients," he said.
Speaking at the workshop, Prof Dr Abdul Gani Mollah, director of the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation (Nitor), said, "About 600 accident cases came in to Nitor during this Eid holiday alone, 5-6% of which were spinal injuries."
"The death rate among people injured in road accidents is much higher. We are struggling to cope with trauma patients in our 1,000-bed hospital," he said.
Not only from Dhaka, but referral cases are coming from all over the country. Government hospitals cannot provide services to all patients, and private hospitals also have to help, Dr Abdul Gani added.
Speaking as chief guest, former director of Nitor and President of the Bangladesh Spine Society, Prof Dr Khondker Abdul Awal Rizvi said there is no alternative but for surgeons to acquire skills in the treatment of disability.
Speakers at the event said various diseases of the spine, including spinal deformities and tuberculosis, are also increasing day by day. Earlier, patients had to go abroad for treatment but advanced treatment of the spine is now available in Bangladesh.
Besides government institutions, many private hospitals are now providing international standard treatment. In a country as densely populated as Bangladesh, there is no substitute for skilled, trained spine surgeons, they said.
Dr Gururaj Sangondimath, consultant and head of the Department of Spine Surgery at the Spinal Injury Centre in Delhi, and 8 experienced spinal surgeons of Bangladesh imparted hands-on skills to 28 participants who had registered for training in modern spinal surgery techniques at the workshop.