Burn Care in Africa: Reducing the Misery Index: The 1993 Everett Idris Evans Memorial Lecture

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Burn care in Africa is hampered by inadequate facilities, inadequate infrastructure, and inadequately trained staff. Burn units with burn teams are few. Burn injuries carry a high mortality rate with delayed healing and high complication rates among survivors. Most burns occur in the home from flame and scalding, and children are more affected than adults. Burn sepsis is mostly from staphylococci and pseudomonas. Various studies on epidemiology, sepsis, protein metabolism, and repigmentation indicate methods of prevention and improved care, including greater resort by surgeons to skin grafting, which speeds healing and both prevents and treats scarring, contractures, and depigmentation. Governments, industries, and entrepreneurs are exhorted to promote burn prevention, research, improved care, and rehabilitation, particularly through the establishment of burn units with burn teams, to reduce the misery and suffering caused by the high mortality and morbidity from burns in Africa.

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