Most patients in Limpopo admitted for burn treatment sustained their injuries from intimate partner violence and are men. The Times reports that this is according to Professor Salathiel Mzezewa, the head of plastic surgery at the Mankweng Complex in Polokwane, who based his findings on 38 treatments he administered at his facility between January 2019 to August 2020.
The report was received by Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba.
Commenting on the report, Ramathuba said: “The leading burn injuries, at 55,26%, were as a result of intimate partner-related violence. This is another indication and confirmation that Limpopo is one of those leading provinces in terms of gender-based violence (GBV).”
The report also revealed that almost a third (29%) of deaths following admission as a result of burn wounds were related to religious and traditional beliefs. These were the highest in terms of case fatality.
Of the 38 patients he treated over the past 19 months, eleven died.
“When the assailant was a male partner, the mortality rate was high. Three female patients died after being set alight by their male partners. The only male who died from intimate partner-related violence was set alight by his wife’s boyfriend,” the report noted.
According to The Times, Ramathuba hailed the report as beneficial for her department, saying it will guide not only the department of health’s planning, but also all other social cluster departments.
The report recommended: anger management by a multidisciplinary team comprising psychologists and social workers; prosecution of assailants; and awareness campaigns against non-accidental burns.
“Research must not only be conducted for academic purposes, but also it is critical to conduct studies that help government and society to eradicate all our social ills,” said Ramathuba.
Full report in The Times