A four member team of medical professionals visited Pakistan to help Acid burn victims registered with Depilex Smileagain Foundation (DSF). The team comprises Dr Sonia Pp Pena (plastic surgeon), Julio Morillo (plastic surgeon), Rafael Galo (anesthetist) and Lourdes Mariaz (interpreter).
An event was held in DSF head office Lahore on 2nd April 2015. DSF invited 100 guests designers, civil society representatives and politicians joined in to assure their commitment to the victims of violence. The victims and their families also joined. The singers entertained and the artists mingled with the victims to please them and make them feel as part of the society. The best part of the event was the attitude of the famous and high profile audience not bothering about protocol and fitted themselves in available spaces.It was a very happy day for the victims.
Federal Minister for Health, Ms. Saira Afzal Tarar graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Secretary Health also joined in. Secretary Health also joined in. In the welcome address Masarrat Misbah gave a brief of DSF activities comprising medical treatment, psychosocial support, vocational training for rehabilitation and a strong advocacy campaign for violence against women. She invited everybody to participate in the advocacy campaign to eliminate violence against women.
Acid victim Saira Siddique sharing her success story informed with confidence that she was a trained beautician working in Faisalabad Depilex Franchise. With the support of DSF she received medical treatment followed by a training course to qualify as a professional beautician. She shared that she has completely forgotten the miserable time of suffering after the sad incident of burning. She smilingly added that life has to move on and her life is moving on beautifully. The audience highly appreciated her positive and confident approach towards life in spite of having undergone traumas.
Dr Sonia extended greetings on behalf of her team and thanked everyone for warm welcome and hospitality in Pakistan. The team’s visit was a token of appreciation and commitment to the cause followed by DSF. She assured the acid burn victims that they are not alone, as there are people all over the world feeling their pain and wanting to help. She further assured the victims that with DSF they are in good hands. She also advised the victims to strictly follow the aftercare tips so that the surgical wounds heal faster.
In her address federal minister of health MS.Saira Afzal tarar appreciated the efforts of Masarrat Misbah and her team in taking forward the mission of DSF. She attributed violence against women contrary to the teachings of Islam and reiterated that Islam has given respectful status to women as equal partners with men. It is sheer ignorance of the teachings of Islam which leads to such heinous crimes. She informed that amendments have been made in existing laws enforcing strict punishment for the acid throwing crime. She further emphasized the importance of implementation of law to ensure punishment to the offenders. She pledged all out support in perusing actions to eliminate violence against women.
Secretary Health, Salman Rafiq met the cid burn victims and noted that due to severe burning the eye sight of some victims was badly impaired. He committed to arrange an eye specialist to examine which will be followed by treatment through the support of health department.
Ayesha Taslim ended the program by reading a poem as a tribute to all humanitarians supporting a good cause. Alongside a medical camp was organized to avail the services of foreign doctors. Two doctors (Dr Ammara and Dr Farrukh) from Jinnah Hospital, Lahore and two doctors from Government Hospital Rahim Yar Khan ( Dr Mazhar Jam and Medical Officer Mohammad Yasir) joined the team. The team examined 35 patients and short listed 11 victims requiring priority treatment. In the following two days the surgeries were undertaken in Jinnah Hospital. The team was highly impressed by the professionalism, commitment and dedication of the local doctors working under the leadership of Dr Muazzam Tarar Head of Burn Unit, Jinnah Hospital.