Driving Global Burn Care training in Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh and OPT (October 2018)

October 30, 2018
Richard Bendell

Over the next few years, Interburns will be delivering a range of burn care training to staff across Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malawi, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This training is typically delivered by local health care staff who have received training as instructors, so courses can be run in the local language by individuals familiar with the context, culture and working environment of colleagues working in burn care. From the 15-19th October 2018, Interburns brought together a wide range of staff from these countries to participate in a five day instructor ‘training of trainers’ for two programmes: Essential Burn Care (EBC) and Basic Burn Care (BBC).

Essential Burn Care is a multidisciplinary training programme for doctors, nurses, therapists, dieticians and other health care staff working in burn care, typically from secondary and tertiary hospitals. EBC covers all the key aspects of burn care from emergency care through to rehabilitation of the injury, through an interactive and participatory format. EBC has been delivered to over 3,500 health care professionals around the world by Interburns and our local partner.

Basic Burn Care is a new course developed this year that is aimed at staff working in primary level facilities such as health posts, who are often the first health professional a person with a burn injury will see. BBC teaches primary prevention, effective first aid, simple dressings, and when patients should be referred to higher level facilities for further treatment. The training also provided a useful forum to receive feedback on the new course and make some improvements to its structure and delivery, before it is handed over to our local partners for them to deliver independently in early 2019.

The instructor training was delivered by a mixed faculty that included staff from across the international network of Interburns, with surgeons, nurses, therapists and other staff from Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Ethiopia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Palestinian Territories, as well as England and Wales. Staff from several of our overseas partners also participated in the programme, including from Sagun and Nepal Burn Society (Nepal), Acid Survivors Foundation (Bangladesh), AMREF Health Africa (Ethiopia) and Medical Aid for Palestinians (OPT). The programme trained a total of 41 instructors in both courses, providing a broad range of instructors for EBC delivery in Ethiopia and Malawi, increasing the number of instructors available in Bangaldesh, OPT and Nepal, and creating the first set of instructors to carry out BBC in all countries.

The training was made possible by funding from 2 sources: the UK Department for International Development (DFID), through a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant supporting the development of burn care services in Ethiopia, and from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which is supporting a broad programme of research and prevention activities in Ethiopia. Interburns would like to thank both funders and our partner the Centre for Global Burn Injury Policy and Research (CGBIPR) at Swansea University for making the programme possible. We would also like to thank our local partners, AMREF Health Africa Ethiopia for all their work in organising the local logistics and accommodation for the training.