KCH Burn Unit, Lilongwe, Malawi

The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, UNC Department of Surgery and KCH have partnered since 2008 to improve burn care at KCH. The initial steps included describing the problem of burn injury. Similar to many developing countries, the majority of burns are pediatric and are sustained during meal preparation. At the time of the initial assessment, there was no organized burns unit at KCH. The first clinical improvement initiative was to create a dedicated burns unit, which opened in 2010. This entailed specialized training for the clinicians and nurses who staff the burn unit, which was accomplished through a Traveling Burn Fellowship program; with support from Johnson and Johnson, participants from Malawi trained at Baragwanath Burns Unit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Current activities are focused on improving the capacity of surgical care by opening a dedicated burns theatre, improving nutritional status in the burns unit, expanding the role of physiotherapy, and investigating possible prevention and burn strategies within the central region of Malawi.

To learn more about the Malawi Surgical Initiative click here.