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Children with burns in East London

Unfortunately, children who become victims of severe burns are commonly seen at our hospitals. The time to recovery is often prolonged and is a testing time for the child and the caregiver. Admission may last anything from a few days to weeks and months.
While we strive to manage these children in the best possible way, including surgical intervention when necessary, and to provide care and comfort, our facilities are limited.
IMG_1609The Paediatric Surgical Service manages burns at Frere and Cecilia Makiwane Hospitals. There are 14 beds available for children between the 2 hospitals and on average 200 children per year with severe burns are admitted to our units.

Currently children suffering from burns do not have their own exclusive ward at either hospital. At present, at Frere for example, children who have been burned, are nursed together with adults in a single ward. Three of these are nursed in a tiny side ward and the remainder amongst the adults. The ward does not have a play area for the children.

IMG_1607Burn wounds need to be cleaned and dressed each day, a painful and frightening experience for children. Our present burns bath and shower are not adequate for this purpose.

With regards to surgical intervention, we regularly perform skin grafting for our children. This procedure requires expensive specialised equipment. Over the years, this equipment does break down, requires repair and eventual replacement. Currently we need a new dermatome and skin graft mesher for each hospital.

As a Paediatric Surgical Service, we believe we need to develop a modern 10-bedded paediatric burns unit at Frere Hospital, which will have all appropriate facilities and a play area, to allow us to care for children in as child friendly a manner as is possible.
Our children deserve nothing less.

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