Improving recovery outcomes for burns survivors in India: a systems approach

Globally, burns are a leading cause of disability, with over 11 million years of life lost each year. The burden of burns falls disproportionately on the poorest. It is estimated that 180 000 deaths every year are caused by burns - the vast majority occur in low- and middle-income countries, with the highest mortality rates reported in India. Lack of effective coverage of available, accessible, acceptable and quality burns services, and the absence of coordinated efforts both within the health care system and with other sectors, contribute to high mortality and morbidity rates. A review of literature conducted by our team on community-based rehabilitation for burns in resource poor settings, highlighted that rehabilitation guidelines or community-based rehabilitation programs for burns are non-existent. Our qualitative work identified three areas of rehabilitation- physical, psychological, social and community rehabilitation.

The proposed work aims to address barriers in delivering burns care, by strengthening health systems through National Programme for Prevention and Management of Burn Injuries (NPPMBI), improving burn recovery outcomes. The work will be undertaken in Uttar Pradesh. We will use a mixed methods approach. Quantitative data will be collected, using a Burns registry tool (socio-demographics, diagnosis, treatment and recovery outcomes) and system inputs including human resources, infrastructure, treatment protocols, medicines etc. will be collected. Qualitative methods will be used for rapid health facility assessment. Further we use participatory approach for developing a community-based rehabilitation model for tertiary prevention, delivered through primary health care.

The findings from the study will have wide-ranging impacts. It will strengthen links between the community and the health system to ensure access to preventative, curative and rehabilitation services for burn injuries, particularly among the most vulnerable groups.


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