South Africa has a dire shortage of skin to treat burn victims and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Centre for Tissue Engineering and the Organ Donor Foundation have issued an urgent plea for more people to become skin and organ donors.
Every year thousands of South Africans sustain burn injuries from fire, steam, boiling water and chemicals. Many victims are left dejected and feel they have no hope of living a normal life.
Burns survivors have new hope after a Stellenbosch doctor performed the first successful skin culture transplant using skin “grown” with a novel technique that cost a fraction of the price of other skin culturing procedures.
As winter drags on, Klerkdorp’s Tshepong Hospital continues to receive burn victims and is urging people, especially those in informal settlements and parents, to be cautious keeping warm this season.