By Rajesh Kumar Modi, Rotary Club of Mumbai Borivali East, Maharashtra, India
In Mumbai, our deputy fire chief recently died after suffering major burns rescuing people from a residential building fire. Two other officers also died in the fire. The media covered the tragedy, and how a shortage of natural skin in our skin banks complicates the efforts to save brave individuals like these.
Throughout India, there is a shortage of skin largely because people are not aware of the concept of skin donation. Skin can be used to aid the healing process for severe burn victims. Donated skin grafts protect recipients from infection while promoting regeneration of their own skin.
According to the World Health Organization, more than one million people are moderately or severely burnt every year in India, and burns are among the leading cause of shortened life span from disabilities. Burns most often occur from contact with electricity, chemicals, radiation, or from kitchen accidents.
We launched our project as a collaborative effort to involve the community, doctors, and non governmental organizations. We have held several camps, inviting speakers, including individuals who have benefited from skin grafts, to share their story and spread the word. We also held a walkathon in Sanjay Gandhi National Park to raise funds and awareness in partnership with the National Burn Center, the township of Navi Mumbai, and the residential community of Airoli.
We invite other clubs in India to work with us to elevate awareness of skin donation and how it can save lives. We believe we can have a big impact, because Rotary is all about making a difference.
Learn more about our project and see other photos of our walkathon on our Facebook page. Learn other ways Rotary is working to fight disease and browse disease prevention projects on Rotary Showcase.