Qualitative Evaluation of Pediatric Burn injury in Malawi: Assessing Opportunities for Injury Prevention

Marissa Bane

Abstract


BACKGROUND: Pediatric burns in sub-Saharan Africa are a serious public health problem and often lead to permanent physical, psychological, and economic disabilities. To help reduce these accidents, burn prevention strategies need to be implemented. However, these strategies should be tailored to and suitable for those living in sub-Saharan Africa

METHODS: The goal of the study was to understand how serious burns occur for children ages eight and under and to assess the environment surrounding the accident. The study took place at the Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi over a 12-week period. A 32-question survey was administered to the primary guardians of 72 patients. The survey questions focused on the demographics, cooking style, and childcare in the home of the patient, as well as information about the burn accident.

RESULTS: The median age of the patients was 3 years, and 57% were male. Fire and hot water were the most common types of burns, 44% and 40% respectively. Of the burns, 55% were related to cooking, and 86% took place in the home.

DISCUSSION: The data collected helps to portray the overall situation of burn accidents in sub-Saharan Africa. The severity of burns show that an increase in burn education and prevention are critical. Therefore, the information from the study should be used to create burn strategies relevant to those in sub-Saharan Africa.


Keywords


Burns; Sub-Saharan Africa

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