THE Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) has embarked on compression garment production, an important component for a burn patient’s rehabilitation programme.
Compression garments are used to provide pressure over healing burns and grafts when they are durable enough to tolerate the shearing that occurs from the fabric against the skin.
The compression minimises the development of scars by interfering with the production of collagen and helping to realign the collagen fibers.
MNH’s Head of Sewing factory, Esther Mwambokoja told the ‘Daily News’ at the ongoing 44th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) that the garment was special and Tanzania became the second country in Africa to adopt the technology after Ethiopia.
“For hospitals with burn patients as well as those with such people at home are all invited to come and procure the garments for quick recovery of patients,” she said.
According to her, for the past four months, the facility has already administered four patients, while they were still making follow up on other patients including the Morogoro fire victims.
She said benefits associated with compression include its ability to protect fragile skin, promote better circulation of damaged tissues, decrease extremity pain through vascular support as well as itching.
Others are reducing thick, hard scars and increasing skin length by putting pressure on contracture bands.
Ms Mwambokoja asserted that compression garments should be worn seven days a week, 23 hours per day.
“They can be removed for bathing and when applying lotion. These garments will need to be worn until the scars are mature – soft, flat, pliable and when the colour is close to your skin tone.
It takes between eight months up to one to two years before scars matures, this depends on the depth of burn, genetic and other factors,” she explained.
Expounding further she said, the special clothing for burn victims can serve concealing burn scars, promoting healing, improving comfort and protecting scars from the sun.
On the cost of the garments, she said that will depend on the size of the material used. The materials are ordered from the United States.
“We received special training from a team of experts from the US on how to make the special clothing,” she noted.
MNH Spokesman, Mr Aminiel Eligaesha, said they have camped at the fair with all the required services including emergency and referrals.
“In terms of optical services, at least 634 people have been served out of which, 52 have been diagnosed with eye problems that require further examination and are referred directly to Muhimbili, while 105 others have been given sunglasses,” he said.