Mr Martyn Webster reports – On 10th December 2015 , a symposium about the development of burn injury treatment in countries with low levels of resources for health care was held at Canniesburn Unit in Glasgow.

After a very welcome lunch served on arrival of the delegates the meeting was opened by Mr Stuart Watson.  He thanked THET (which was represented by Laura McPherson) for their recent grant towards training nurses and doctors in Burns care.  Tom Potokar, the Director of Interburns, spoke briefly and concisely about the groundbreaking work that Interburns was performing in the developing world.  He introduced Richard Bendall, Interburns manager.  Next to speak was Martyn Webster, who described how Resurge Africa started in Ghana, now including Sierra Leone.  Mr Webster was followed by Arthur Morris speaking particularly about the unit in Kumasi, the Capital of the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana where he, together with Rotary International had established a Reconstructive Surgery Unit and a burns ward at the Komfe Anokye Teaching Hospital there.  Mr Opoku Ampomah, the Medical Director of the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra updated the meeting about the current state of the Burns Unit at Korle Bu and the prospects of getting a purpose built Burns I/C unit built within the grounds of KBTH.  Donations toward this vital project are still being urgently sought.

The work being done in Malawi was described by Howard Stevenson who asked Dr Emily Broadis, who had analysed details of the burns that had been treated at the Malawi Unit, to speak of her work.  She was congratulated on her accomplishment in recording these details and it was pointed out that ALL centres should take care to record such data since it points the way towards potential improvement.

Mike McKirdy, the Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, spoke and said that the college would be interested in helping the charities to promote their skills and forms were available from the college to apply for grants.  This, he was assured, would be actively pursued!  

Interburns runs courses aimed at improving the treatment of burns – one was recently run in Ghana at Korle-Bu, and well attended including nursing staff from The Holy Spirit Hospital in Sierra Leone.  These courses are designed both to educate the public about  the importance of burns, their prevention and emergency treatment, as well as Medical and Nursing staff.  These courses have been much appreciated by those who have attended them and many are planned over the next year.  Martyn Webster made a plea that Sierra Leone should be factored into the programme perhaps in early 2017 and it was agreed that this could be possible…watch this space!