New DFID Grant to Improve Burn Care in Ethiopia (May 2019)

May 01, 2019
Richard Bendell

Interburns has been working in Ethiopia since early 2015, when we were invited to Addis Ababa by the Federal Ministry of Health to review their national strategy for burn care and prevention. At the time, Ethiopia had just 2 burn units based in the capital with a total of 38 beds, for a population of over 100 million. While community-level research has been limited, surveys completed in several districts indicated a relatively high level of burn injury. First aid and initial emergency care for burns is often poor, due to a lack of training and resources, and patients typically have to travel to the capital for treatment. This is a common pattern across Low and Middle Income Countries globally.

Practical session during the Training of Trainers in Bishoftu (Oct 2018)

Starting in October 2018, Interburns began a new project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), under a specific fund designed to support small charities working in the international development space (the Small Charities Challenge Fund). Through this project, Interburns is working with the Federal Ministry of Health, a range of clinicians, and our local partners AMREF Health Africa to support the capacity development of 4 key hospitals. These services include the 2 main national units for burn care in the capital, Addis Ababa Burns and Emergency Trauma (AABET) Hospital and Yekatit-12 Hospital, and 2 key regional units at Jimma and Hawassa University Hospitals.

Nurses from Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi at the ABC Nursing training in February 2019


The project will support the FMOH’s national strategy of improving care at AABET and Yekatit as referral centres for the whole country, while developing effective burn services at University and Medical College Hospitals in key secondary cities like Jimma, Hawassa, Harer and Gondar. The funding from DFID is supporting the implementation of a comprehensive quality improvement project, which includes:

  • Annual assessment of the 4 burn centres, to develop targeted quality improvement for each service in collaboration with the local staff.
  • The creation of a national faculty in Ethiopia through a Training of Trainers, followed by the delivery of EBC and BBC training to 300 staff in Ethiopia.
  • Delivery of ABC Nursing and ABC Surgery training programmes in Ethiopia in 2019 and 2020.
  • Integration of the programme into our parallel community research and prevention activities in Ethiopia as part of the NIHR project.

Interburns would like to thank DFID for their continuing support for our work in Asia and Africa.