Hub launched to tackle the global burns health crisis

A new global hub for academics, global institutions and clinical burns services has been launched at Swansea University which is set to tackle the forgotten global health crisis of burns by reducing the number and impact of burn injuries around the world.

The Centre for Global Burn Injury (CGBIPR) based at the College of Human and Health Sciences was established at a launch at Swansea University.

The CGBIPR, which has received funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to establish a Global health Research Group on Burn Trauma, will lead on developing strategies to reduce the number of burn injuries and deliver affordable, life-saving treatments across resource poor health systems in a wide diversity of settings worldwide. 

A Global Problem

Burns are a major problem for the world and the CGBIPR will be working with Interburns and other national and international partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO) to focus on improving burns prevention and emergency preparedness in areas where there are conflict and mass casualty burns.

International attendees of the WHO-EMT meeting on mass burn casualties International attendees of the WHO-EMT meeting on mass burn casualties held in Swansea on 30th November and 1st December 2017.

The centre is led by ‌‌Professor Tom Potokar OBE, who previously worked at the Welsh Centre for Burns & Plastic Surgery at Morriston Hospital and is director of Interburns an international volunteer network of expert health care professionals who work to transform burn care and prevention in low and middle income countries. 

Professor Potokar said: “While burn injuries represent a huge international challenge, this unique and innovative collaboration presents an enormous opportunity to transform the global picture of burns through training, research, prevention and capacity-building. Our target is to work to deliver on the ground capacity building and quality improvements to ensure real impact to save lives, reduce disability and prevent enormous suffering.”

 Professor Tom Potokar OBE,  director of Interburns

Professor Tom Potokar OBE,  director of Interburns.

Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, Professor Ceri Phillips said:  “The College of Human and Health Sciences is delighted to host this new initiative and excited at the opportunities to influence and inform policies and practices designed to reduce the devastating impact of burns across the world. The commitment and dedication of Professor Potokar in this field of study has delivered significant benefits on an international scale, and the establishment of this Centre will enable even greater reach and impact, especially in relatively deprived and disadvantaged communities and countries, which the College is privileged to support.” 

Global burn injury facts:

  • People living in low and middle income countries are at higher risk for burns than people in high income countries.
  • Within all countries burn risk correlates with socioeconomic status
  • In India over 1 million people are moderately or severely burnt every year
  • Nearly 173,000 Bangladeshi children are moderately or severely burnt every year
  • Unsafe kerosene lamps and cookers and poor electricity infrastructure contribute considerably to the global burden of burn injures