Bed net related burns at Mulago national referral hospital, Uganda: a case series report

Burns. 2014 May;40(3):495-9. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2013.08.009. Epub 2013 Sep 23.


Background: Insecticide-treated bed nets are essential tools to prevent malaria in endemic regions, however, increasing trends in bed net related burns in Kampala, Uganda are concerning.

Methods: Data were collected from burns unit admission records at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda for the years 2008-2011 inclusive. Retrospective analyses on the characteristics of patients admitted with bed net related burns within this period were conducted.

Results: A total of 45 patients were admitted to the burns unit with bed net related burns during the study period. Most burns occurred among individuals who were 0-1 years old (33.3%) and 26-35 years old (24.2%) and the majority were male (71%). Bed net related burns at Mulago Hospital are severe, as evidenced by the fact that 15 of 45 patients died (crude mortality rate=33%) and that 26 patients (57.8%) had total body surface area burn percentages that were greater than 20%. The average length of stay in hospital for patients with bed net related burns was 30.4 days.

Conclusion: Organizations responsible for malaria prevention should consider incorporating fire and burn prevention awareness, strategies and training into their bed net distribution programs.

Keywords: Bed net related burns; Epidemiology; Prevention; Uganda.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fires / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Malaria / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mosquito Nets*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Young Adult