Burns are the scourge of Ghana and represent a huge portion of the workload for the plastic surgery and burns unit at Korle Bu teaching Hospital. Some 45% of the hospital’s burns patients are children.
Open cooking fires in the home and in the markets and poorly-regulated industries contribute to the high numbers of severely burned patients we see who require acute care. Up to 98% of the rural Ghanaian population rely on gas cylinders for cooking, with many storing these cylinders indoors. 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.
Simply put, far more people need the unit’s help than its current 18 bed facility can cope with. It is estimated that the 1,000 burns patients cared for by the centre last year represent less than half of those who required hospital treatment.
Modern facilities are urgently required to look after such critically injured patients and a state-of-the-art facility has been designed for a new, bigger, purpose built burns unit.
Land has been identified within Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, adjacent to the existing unit, and has been secured for the purpose of the new planned building. The cost of building and equipping this ICU burns unit will be in the region of £6 million and a major appeal to raise the funds needed to start this ambitious long term project will be launched this year.
The ICU burns unit will transform the lives of thousands of Ghanaians but, without your help, it may never be built. Find out how you can support the creation of the unit by donating, fundraising or volunteering.