The Global Burden of Disease
Trauma and accidental injury are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among Africans aged 15-29 years (Bundu et al., 2019). Bundu et al. (2019) surveyed common trauma presentations at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. They found burns to be the fourth most common trauma presentation among adults, and the third most common among children.
Open cooking fires in homes and markets, and poorly regulated industries contribute to the high incidences of burn injury. Futher, roadside cooking over open flames is also commonplace. Many of these burns result in keloid scarring or contracture formation, which leads to significant physical impairment, affecting quality of life. Nutritional support is a huge component of burns care.
The Importance of Nutrition in Burn Healing
Nutrition is critical during the recovery phase of burn healing. Following moderate to severe burn injury, the body is placed in hypermetabolism (Romanowski, 2021). Healthcare providers must initiate a high protein-calorie diet for the burned patient to prevent malnutrition and poor wound healing during increased metabolic demands (Romanowski, 2021).
Our Work with Local Partners
Throughout April and May 2022, ReSurge Africa organized burns nutrition workshops at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, and Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni.
Dede Kwadjo, a dietician from Korle Bu teaching hospital, joined nutritionists Mariama Lahai and Martina Bassie at Connaught Hospital to conduct the workshops.
Dede Kwadjo explains…
“The key to a sustainable intervention is to ensure it has a firm foundation in locally available solutions. Today the team along with our fellow nutrition participants from various hospitals in Salone and the Nutrition Directorate, plus five 3rd year nutrition students had a kitchen session to prepare enteral feeds from local foods and ingredients. We are determined to get local, cost-effective preparations that the most financially challenged patient can afford. The goal was to use food items that didn’t cost more than 5,000 leones for preparation of our home-based enteral feeds (high protein, high caloric feeds) targeted at our patients, especially patients with burn injuries.”
Preparing the enteral feeds at Connaught Hospital in Freetown, SL
“I am so excited about using our locally available food stuff to prepare meals for patients. Thanks to Resurge Africa for extending this golden opportunity to Sierra Leone”
Mariama Lahai, Nutritionist at Connaught Hospital, Freetown
Burns nutrition workshop at Holy Spirit Hospital in Makeni, SL
Bundu, I., Lowsby, R., Vandy, H.P., Kamara, S.P., Jalloh, A.M., Scott, C.O.S., & Beynon, F. (2019). The burden of trauma presenting to the government referral hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone: An observational study. African Journal of Emergency Medicine, 9, 9-13. 10.1016/j.afjem.2018.07.008
Romanowski, K.S. (2021). Overview of nutrition support in burn patients. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-nutrition-support-in-burn-patients?csi=ef8a8098-9417-4d83-ad55-7f4cc413a455&source=contentShare#H9