Burn education and first aid delivery to school children in Tanzania

Mohammed Farid1, Emmanuel Manjira2, Jeremy Rawlins3

1 Department of Plastic Surgery, The Royal London Hospital NHS Trust, Whitechapel Road, London, United Kingdom, E1 1BB e-mail: mohammed.farid@gmail.com
2 Department of Surgery, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre, Moshi, Tanzania e-mail: e.manjira@yahoo.com

3 Department of Plastic Surgery, Royal Perth Hospital, Goderich Street, Perth WA 6000, Australia e-mail:  jeremy_rawlins@hotmail.com


Paediatric burns are a cause of devastating injuries with significant morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The delivery of prevention programmes is influenced by the underlying social, cultural and economic factors. The aim of this project is to promote positive behavioural changes for acute paediatric burns management in northern Tanzania.  The long term goal is to prevent the acute complications of paediatric burn contracture and chronic disability.


A multidisciplinary team with expertise in burns care visited a village in rural northern Tanzania for three consecutive years. We aimed to determine the risk factors for burns, lack of prevention methods and first aid management.  Daily seminars and teaching targeted children’s, teachers and parents and encouraged active participation.


The burns prevention programme enabled northern Tanzania population to understand burn hazards and adapt precautionary measures to prevent severe injuries. The application of 20 minutes of water as first aid was one of the key learning points. These visits were well received by the local population and demonstrated an improvement in basic prevention measures for burns.


Targeted educational programmes are the key to prevent burns in rural paediatric population. This strategy is encouraged to be part of a national effort to reduce the prevalence of burns burden. The challenge is to ensure a continuum in the delivery of prevention programmes without a designated body taking such responsibility.

Key Words

Paediatric, Africa, Burns Care


I graduated with MBChB from the university of Birmingham , England in 2009. Subsequently, i did my plastic surgery theme core training in Yorkshire region till 2013. During this time, i achieved an MSc in surgical sciences with University of Edinburgh . I have been a registrar in plastic surgery for 10 months and aim to pursue a career in burns. I spend my free time travelling, cycling, reading and keeping fit.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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