To improve survival chances of child burn victims in Malawi, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, Blantyre and NHS Tayside Health Board, Scotland developed a link.

Surviving from burns in Malawi

In 2010, when a child was admitted to the burns unit at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) with severe burns, he/she would stay in the hospital for a lengthy period of time to recover with little chance of survival. However following implementation of the ReBaS project (Reduction of Burn and Scald Mortality in Children), child mortality has reduced by 46% and now more children walk out of there alive within a shorter period of time.

One incident was a four day old infant who was left alone in a house while the mother was fetching water. Their mosquito net caught fire and the child was left with severe burns. The child was taken to the burns unit and taken to surgery right away. The child was discharged after 14 days, alive and well.

Making a difference

“Before ReBaS, the infant would have had to stay in the hospital for a minimum period of 3 months, but with the introduction of this project, we have managed to reduce the hospital stay and mortality rate in children due to burns.”

This was Mr Filimoni, one of the project coordinators explaining the situation at QECH before the introduction of ReBaS:  “we have also been able to reduce chance of infection and promoted faster healing in the young patients by introducing a high protein diet at the hospital during recovery.”

IHLFS Team, British Council Malawi