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Burn, The Hidden Global Public Health Epidemic

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled burn as the "hidden global public health epidemic," with 95 percent of people affected living in low- and middle-income countries, and 70 percent of those affected being children. Burn is also one of the top five global causes of child death. Ethiopia, a low- and middle-income country, has just two burn units in the capital, with a total of 38 beds for a population of over 100 million people, and only eight of those beds are for pediatric burn patients. Even those youngsters who are fortunate enough to be admitted to the facility sometimes struggle to buy medicine. Due to limited resources, anesthetic is not given for burn unit patients receiving care at the institution, and during gauze changes, the unit is filled with screaming children reliving their misery, parents wailing, and staff fighting to handle the situation.

The hospital takes a curative approach, and patients with a possibility of life are admitted from all across the nation, as well as from neighboring countries.


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