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Expanding Burn Care with a Comprehensive Approach

If someone comes to ReSurge with a burn scar contracture, two terrible things have already happened. One, the injury was not prevented, and two, the patient did not receive the appropriate treatment when they were first burned. ReSurge is expanding its work and partnerships to address these issues in the following ways.

Burn prevention is almost non-existent in low-income countries, due to a lack of resources, education and political will.

It was not that long ago when home and tenement fires were tragically commonplace in the U.S. Now, only 5 percent of all burns worldwide happen in developed countries. Unfortunately, in most low-income countries, prevention programs have not been introduced. Where they have been, their reach is extremely limited; yet, with more resources, they could be effectively scaled to help save lives.

ReSurge and International Medical Corps (IMC) have joined forces to save lives and create a safer world with an integrated care approach to burns. This is the first major NGO partnership to address the global health crisis of burns with a combination of prevention, training, treatment and advocacy. The partnership leverages ReSurge's 44-year history of serving burn survivors with IMC's health care and training expertise over nearly three decades in more than 65 countries. Through this endeavor, ReSurge and IMC are building capacity, beginning with a program in Nepal.

Burn injuries needlessly cause permanent disabilities because of the lack of medical care.

There is a vast shortage of doctors, surgeons and facilities for burns in developing countries; when care is available, few poor people can afford it.

To reduce the suffering and disability caused by burns, ReSurge is working to close two critical gaps: the gap in time between the burn's occurrence and its treatment, and the gap between the place of the burn (usually at home) and the treatment location. To meet these goals, ReSurge is expanding our burn care program to include acute burns (those that occur shortly before treatment), and we are building the capacity of our host-country colleagues to care for all types of burns with a team-based approach.

Burns are a silent emergency that needs awareness and advocates.

To shed some light on the neglected global health crisis of burns, ReSurge and International Medical Corps initiated the ReThink Burns advocacy campaign in February 2013, and it has been a success. Learn more about the campaign and how you can take action to help save lives.

Burns disabilities can be repaired and hope can be restored. That's what ReSurge has done for 44 years.

ReSurge will continue its long history of helping burn survivors have a second chance at life. By releasing burn contractures, ReSurge surgeons restore movement and functionality to the afflicted areas. Today, more than 55 percent of ReSurge's surgical work is related to burns. More than 2,700 surgeries were performed last year to restore functionality to burn survivors, renewing their hope and increasing their productivity. ReSurge also will continue to educate and empower burn professionals in developing countries by providing training and workshops, and by sending teams of medical volunteers to help them with the backlog of burn cases.

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Severe burns remain a neglected health crisis in developing countries, particularly among poor women and children. Learn more about the staggering scope and solutions.