KATHMANDU : Rihana Sheikh Dhapali, who was allegedly set on fire by her husband for not bringing dowry in Banke district some five months ago, has been brought back to the capital Friday for another skin-graft on her right leg for her burn injuries. But she is in poor health and living in unhygienic conditions, say doctors.
When she was discharged from Bir Hospital on June 24 after she grew homesick, she recovered a lot from the burn injuries inflicted on the lower part of her body and her parental family had started heaving a sigh of relief.
But with her deteriorating condition, her parents are again panicked whether she will ever be fine and able to lead a normal life.
Dr Peeyush Dahal, chief of Burns Unit at Bir Hospital, said her injuries are again as bad as they were two months ago when she was brought to the hospital for the first time.
She has lost weight considerably due to not eating properly; and she can hardly speak.
“Due to poor personal hygiene, the grafted skin in some part of her right leg has come out, exposing burn injuries. So, most of the time, she remains in immense pain,” said he, adding, her health condition also worsened because she arrived late for her follow-up treatment.
Dahal said she was given painkiller on Friday after she complained of pain in her right leg, which had sustained severe burn injuries.
Though she was supposed to return to the hospital in two weeks for a second skin-graft treatment, she returned only after over a month and a half.
She had arrived in the capital Friday morning with support from the Burn Violence Survivors-Nepal. The non-government organization has been bearing all her treatment expenses.
Samin Sheikh, her father, said Rihana has not eaten properly for the past several weeks. “And for the last two days, she has eaten nothing. She was unconscious all the way to the hospital.”
“I do not know if my daughter will be fine soon,” cried Samin. Over 30 percent of the lower part of her body had sustained burn injuries.
She was allegedly set on fire by her husband and in-laws at Laxmanpur VDC on March 17 for not bringing a motorcycle and a water buffalo as dowry. She was already pregnant when the burning incident took place. But it was only after two months that the incident became public.
Pointing to her left leg, Rihana said she feels severe pain in her right leg when Republica correspondent visited the hospital. “Doctors have said I will be fine. But my wounds are still raw,” said she.
Dahal said Rihana will undergo her second phase of skin-grafting surgery only after she grows physically strong. “We have advised her to eat properly. We will wait for her physical recovery. Let´s hope she will be fine.”
Her husband is still absconding. Though District Police Office Banke has registered a case against him on the charge of setting his wife on fire over dowry, they have not been able to nab him.
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