'Chinese stove accounts for 80pc of burns'

HARARE - Officials at Harare Group of Hospitals (HGH) have called for a probe into the safety of the Chinese-made Panda paraffin stove that has triggered a sharp increase in burns in the country.

HGH head of surgery Alfred Mukosi said the burns were further straining limited financial resources at the institution. He called for the stove to go for redesigning or be banned.

“With our already-limited resources, we are worried with certain paraffin stoves that have flooded our market from a friendly country,” Mukosi said, declining to name the country.

“There are real safety issues around these stoves. We feel there is a need for an investigation. We can call victims to bring the stoves. We need it (stove) banned or redesigned.”

Mukosi was speaking during a tour of the hospital by award-winning musician Oliver Mtukudzi yesterday.

“There was a stove that was made locally but it just disappeared,” Mukosi said. “It helped, we never used to deal with all these issues.”

Harare Hospital acting chief executive officer George Vera described that brand of stoves as a “killer.”

“This brand is injuring and killing our people,” he said. “It is killing both adults and children. Now it is your role as media to tell the public.”

A total of 53 people suffered paraffin burns last year. At least 42 of those were injuries caused by burst paraffin stoves, of which seven were fatal.

Patients who spoke on condition of anonymity described the stoves as “Panda,” a brand available in different sizes and colours, mainly green and maroon.

Mukosi said historically, burns used to be more prevalent in winter.

“But nowadays they are no longer seasonal; burns are coming all the time,” he said.

A punishing load-shedding schedule has forced the public to resort to wood, gas, generators and paraffin stoves for heating or as alternative sources of energy.

Mukosi said they were sometimes admitting in several members of a single family injured from a single explosion by the stove.

“We have whole families living in single quarters with that stove by the corner, meaning when the stove bursts, it injures many people,” he said.

Last year, the hospital admitted a total of 1 218 children and 159 adults with burns. At least 80 children died from the burns.

Among adult burns, open fires accounted for 40 cases, hot water 38, hot oil 20 and 10 electrical injuries.

Comments (3)

Thats China for you. didnt we just sign a military fact with them. We have opened Chinese car model assembly plant. Pretty soon you will be eating dogs.

Mutambo Chero - 2 May 2014

the problem is that foreigners just bring in dangerous imports that do not get approval from SAZ and start selling these wares to our innocent people. This is because the law is not being enforced [the law ceases to be law when its not enforced]. Local products are not bought because they are expensive, this is because the so called local business guys have no business ethics but are criminals who want to get rich 'yesterday'. This gives room for corrupt authorities to allow dangerous imports while they pocket the money paid for not enforcing the law.

hooter - 3 May 2014

Mutambo Chero ...kudya imbwa is your choice ..Perharps you eat dog meat ..a bad product is a bad product and has got nothing to do with what one can eat .

Gaudy - 3 May 2014

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