Thursday, December 30, 2010

Priceless Picture...

Children enjoying a rare treat in their rural village, a child safety lesson in water, burn and road safety. Each child in this school was able to be provided with a copy of "Luka's Safety Adventure" and a small pack of crayons! It is absolutely priceless to see a child hold a crayon for the first time and see the expression on his/face when they figure out how to color!

Drama Skits Prove Effective, as Patients Line Up for Clinic

November and December were incredibly exciting to see Prevention efforts switch into full gear. An Nkhoma-based Drama Group did an outstanding job playing out the role of a family who neglected to watch their young child around a fire and go through the steps of visiting an herbalist doctor and finally reaching a Malawian doctor to get the proper treatment the child needed. The group was hugely entertaining and reached over 2000 rural Malawians surrounding the Nkhoma area.
In reward we witnessed numerous persons with burn contractures and epileptics who saught out treatment for their seizures to avoid a potential burn injury.
This program is extremely important to teach kids and parents about the dangers of fire and what do in case of an emergency. With a donation of $125 you can provide a rural village with this vital information!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Who Said Elephants Are Extinct in Nkhoma!

As early as 30 years ago there were reports of wild elephants roaming the valleys in surrounding the Nkhoma Hospital. They have since all been poached for meat and their tusks but last week Prevention Leader, Sam Thompson found a rare toddler elephant in the villages while teaching! I simply could not resist posting his adorable picture!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Burn Survivor Pays It Forward

Pictured is one of my favorite programs offered at Nkhoma. Loyce stands and reads a burn prevention safety book in Chichewa to mothers and children staying at the Nkhoma Hospital. Loyce isn't a teacher, she's a burn survivor who lived through a 4th degree burn of her scalp when she fell into a cooking fire by her home while having a seizure. She spent 370 days in the hospital in 2006 and lives to tell her story of survival in the wards at Nkhoma Hospital.
Loyce visits the hospital once a month to provide the invaluable prevention education, and also stops by the pharmacy to pick up her epilepsy meds that are offered free of charge by ABR to prevent her any further injury by fire.

Visiting ReSurge Team Tackles Disability in Nkhoma

Last week, Africa Burn Relief and Nkhoma Hosptial were most fortunate to partner with ReSurge International (formally Interplast) to help patients with disabilities, including burn contractures and cleft lips a new outlook on life.
With the help of Dr. Scott Corlew and Susan Smith, NP, 5 patients were provided services that are not otherwise offered in the rural site of Nkhoma. Besides surgery, assistance with continued education was offered in 2 hospital sites and most appreciated by Malawian clinician and nurses who rarely recieve the specialized expertise and teaching they were able to provide.
During their stay, ReSurge team members benefited from witnessing our newly launched prevention program and dramas. Teaching children and parents in the rural setting about preventing burns is simply a unique, amazing, and rewarding experience.
I most welcome ReSurge team members to return to our site to continue much needed reconstruction services with us and our partner, Nkhoma Hospital. Hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Burn Prevention Program Escalates!

December brings a busy month for Africa Burn Relief! While many people in the US are winding down for the holiday season we have kicked things up notch here in Nkhoma. With the help of friend and volunteer Sam Thompson, our burn prevention efforts have escalated to reach 6 rural villages and 4 schools. Sam is working with an amazing local drama group who work rurally to give health care messages to the neediest of Malawians.
Sam is concentrating his efforts on the education of parents and young children in an attempt to decrease the number of preventable burn injuries. The simple teaching concept of STOP-DROP-AND-ROLL, is a well known technique to put out a flame amongst our youngsters in the US. But here in Malawi this has never been heard of our taught by teachers.
Pictured a child proudly demonstrates his new learned skill of stop drop and roll, and some of the many children that Sam has reached with his prevention teachings and children's coloring book, Luka's Safety Adventure!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Way It Is...

This is a picture of a patient’s grandmother laundering the dressings that were removed from her grandson. Because of hospital wide shortages of quality dressings, family members must wash their outer dressings daily to be reused the next day. This certainly is not practicing sterile technique or even clean technique by any means, certainly not acceptable by US standards, but there is simply no other alternative. If they don’t wash the dressings they have, the child will go without the dressings. The boy was burned over 23% of his body. At first the family did not divulge how the accident occurred, they told us he was pushed into a fire by a friend. Days later it was revealed that he fell into a fire while practicing a traditional dance. Likely they hid this from us as some Malawians view traditional dancing as voodoo or possibly associated with unchristian-like teachings. This is of course irrelevant to his treatment, and tomorrow he will leave a healed 12 year old boy after 3 skin graft operations.