Burn Care in a Conflict Zone: Training for Northern Syria (January 2017)

January 24, 2017
Richard Bendell

From 16 -20th January Interburns ran a training programme in partnership with the World Health Organisation for staff treating burns in Northern Syria. The programme was held in southern Turkey with faculty from the UK, Syria and Greece. Taking into account the current situation in Syria, this was a specialist programme on delivering burn care in conflict zones, developed specifically for this training.

The training was delivered in a mixture of Arabic and English by a mixed faculty with expertise in burns, plastic surgery, physiotherapy and war surgery.  While many of the burns occurring in conflict zones will have similar causes and treatments as burns in other resource-poor settings, there is also the added threat of thermal injury from munitions and incendiaries along with an increased risk of patient with burns suffering from other forms of co-trauma. This was taken into account in specialised sessions and the team also ran a practical mass casualty simulation to engage participants in practicing effective triage when faced with a large number of patients at one time.

Interburns would like to thank the team from WHO for the organisation of the local logistics and accommodation as well as funding the overall programme. Special thanks are due to our faculty, several of whom are originally from Syria, and for the participants for making the journey across the border and committing to the training for the week.