Burns and scalds--epidemiology and prevention in a developing country

Niger J Med. 2005 Jan-Mar;14(1):9-16. doi: 10.4314/njm.v14i1.37128.


Background: Burns and scalds are common presentation to many of our health institutions. Most of these injuries are preventable. Many of the patients however end with severe morbidity or even death. People affected are mostly of poor socioeconomic status. The cost of managing these injuries is high. Coupled with this are poor facilities in most parts of the developing countries like Nigeria and insufficient personnel to take care of this group of people. Study of the epidemiology as well as suggestions on preventive measures are therefore overdue and hence this publication.

Methods: A review of the literature on this subject with emphasis on Nigeria was done bearing in mind the epidemiology and prevention of burn. Literature search was done using the medline as well as local journals.

Results: Causes of burn injuries are many in the developing countries. Most of these are however preventable. Some preventive measures have been suggested by workers in this part of the world. Some measures that have worked in reducing burn injuries in some advanced countries and that may be appropriate to our situation are noted and are also suggested in this paper.

Conclusion: Prevention of burn injuries, based on the epidemiology of burn in developing countries, remains a major way of reducing the current spate of morbidity and mortality in our patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / prevention & control*
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Rate