UNICEF provides wound dressings for EB children in Iran

May 13, 2020 - 18:13

TEHRAN – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has shipped specialized wound dressings for Iranian children suffering from Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), also known as butterfly disease, with financial support of Germany.

The wound dressings, a product of the Swedish pharmaceutical company Mölnlycke, were procured by UNICEF Global Supply Hub in Copenhagen. Weighing 5.8 metric tons. This shipment of wound dressings will be delivered to the Ministry of Health for handover to Iran’s EB Home Foundation and further distribution among families with EB children in various provinces.

Although food and medicine are claimed to be exempted from U.S. sanctions, financial and banking sanctions have limited the life-saving medicine trade which harshly targeted the patients.

Across the country, 700 people have been diagnosed with EB, but considering that EB is estimated to occur in 1 newborn per 50,000 live births, it is suggested that in Iran 1,200 people are suffering EB.

In Iran, these patients are known as “butterflies” because their skin is as fragile as butterflies' wings, EB patients are in desperate need of special bandages as even minor frictions cause severe painful blisters. The condition usually manifests in infancy or early childhood. EB has no cure, although symptoms of mild forms of the disease can improve with age.

Without the bandages, they face difficulties even in their daily routine, including walking, eating, or even breathing, and unfortunately, there is no alternative treatment for such pain.

Exemptions for humanitarian trade (such as food, medicine, and medical equipment) have not been effective in protecting Iranian patients from access to imported medicine, such as the bandages used for EB patients’ treatment.