The groundbreaking ceremony of Ahl Masr Burn Hospital, the largest-to-be non-profit hospital in the Middle East to treat burn victims for free, took place on December 3. The hospital’s foundation was laid down, the equipment arrived and the drilling began, as the burn victims witnessed the actualization of their dreams.
Among those who attended the ceremony were Heba Elsewedy, founder and Chairwoman of Ahl Masr, the Ahl Masr team, many burn victims and a number of renowned figures from various fields including: Dr. Ghada Wally, Minister of Social Solidarity, Dr. Mostafa Matbouly, Minister of Housing who donated the land to Ahl Masr and provided facilities for infrastructure, ambassadors of Kuwait and Holland, Director Khaled Youssef, Actress Magda Zaki and many others.
The hospital is located in the first settlement in front of El Rehab Compound’s gate two. It will include 180 beds, 50 ICUs, 11 clinics, radiology units, labs and other necessary departments that will help in the treatment of burn victims. The hospital will hold the first skin and stem cell banks in Egypt, and the largest medical and social research centre for burns, adapted after the research centre in Holland.
“The problem we are facing today is that there aren’t enough beds in current hospitals to take in emergency cases of burnt victims. They require immediate infection control which is very costly, and so unfortunately many of the victims die within the first few hours,” stated Elsewedy. She highlighted that the emergency department in the new hospital can take 16 simultaneous emergency cases, with a very high level of infection control.
Although the hospital was originally intended for burnt children only, it has been rearranged to have a capacity of 50% children, who occupy the biggest percentage of victims, and 50% adults (over 18 years).
An affiliation with the International Burns Association was made, and starting from the end of 2017, the hospital will begin recruiting doctors and nurses. The team will receive a one-year training, where experts from other countries will lead the training program and some members will receive further training abroad.
Elsewedy assured, “Our job is to prevent the burns and raise awareness.” Ahl Masr continues to visit corporations, schools and villages to implement their Prevention and Awareness Program.
Although the duration for completing the hospital depends on donations, the hospital is estimated to begin operation within 30 months.