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Burns. 2014 Dec;40(8):1748-53. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.03.007. Epub 2014 Apr 24.

Burns in Sierra Leone: a population-based assessment.

Author information

1
Centre for Global Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, 1650 Cedar Avenue, L9 411, Montreal, QC, Canada H3G 1A4; Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), New York, NY, USA. Electronic address: evan.wong@mail.mcgill.ca.
2
Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), New York, NY, USA; Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA.
3
Department of Surgery, Connaught Hospital, Freetown, Sierra Leone; College of Medicine and Allied Health Science (COMAHS), Freetown, Sierra Leone.
4
Department of Surgery, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
5
Institute for Health and Society, and Epidemiology Division, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
6
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; Surgeons OverSeas (SOS), New York, NY, USA; Department of Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
7
Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA. Electronic address: swren@stanford.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Burns remain disproportionately prevalent in developing countries. This study aims to describe the epidemiology of burns in Sierra Leone to serve as a baseline for future programs.

METHODS:

A cluster randomized, cross-sectional, countrywide survey was conducted in 2012 in Sierra Leone. With a standardized questionnaire demographics and deaths during the previous 12 months of household members were assessed with the household representative. Thereafter, 2 randomly selected household members were interviewed, elucidating whether participants had ever had a burn in six body regions and determining burn mechanisms and patterns of health care seeking behavior.

RESULTS:

This study included 1843 households and 3645 individuals. 3.98% (145/3645) of individuals reported at least one burn-injury. The highest proportions of burns were reported in the age groups 0-4 years old (23/426, 5.4%) and 5-14 years old (37/887, 4.17%). The majority of burns (129/145, 89.0%) were caused by a hot liquid/object and the upper, extremities were the most commonly burned body regions, with 36% (53/145) of cases. 21% (30/145) of individuals with burns sought care from a traditional healer.

CONCLUSIONS:

Burns are highly prevalent in Sierra Leone. Further research and resources should be allocated to the care and prevention of thermal injuries.

PMID:
24767716
DOI:
10.1016/j.burns.2014.03.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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