Paediatric burn injuries in Sub Saharan Africa--an overview

Burns. 2006 Aug;32(5):605-12. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2005.12.004. Epub 2006 May 19.


Paediatric burn injuries in Sub Saharan Africa are common and often lead to devastating consequences. Unfortunately relevant and accurate data regarding these injuries is sketchy and incomplete. This paper reviews the available information on the epidemiology of paediatric burns in Africa, associated health problems and contributing environmental factors responsible for these burns. The current status of burn care, the lack of infrastructure, and traditional methods of treatment, further contribute to the unsatisfactory status of overall burn management, prevention, and rehabilitation of burn survivors. A strategy for improving burn care in Africa has been formulated. The management of childhood burns will only be successful if educational, social, fiscal and infrastructure standards are improved. Traditional beliefs and methods cannot be discarded as they play an important role in the management of these children. It is furthermore essential that local and central government organisations support these initiatives. Clearly, the children of Africa deserve better burn care.

MeSH terms

  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergencies
  • Emergency Treatment / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Medicine, African Traditional
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Seasons