International Medical Corps and ReSurge International announced at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting a commitment to addressing the global burn crisis – a silent emergency that affects millions of people, primarily women and children. The first major NGO partnership to address the often neglected issue of burns, The Global Burn Project will improve health-worker training and provide better access for enhanced early care and rehabilitation –the most efficient and cost-effective way to reduce permanent burn-related disabilities.
“The Clinton Global Initiative has provided an unparalleled platform for International Medical Corps and ReSurge International to bring attention to this underreported crisis,” said International Medical Corps President & CEO Nancy A. Aossey. “Millions of people needlessly suffer debilitating injuries from burns because they lack access to appropriate care at the time of their accidents. This means even small to moderate burns can become permanent disabilities. We are extremely proud to partner with ReSurge in reaching out to underserved communities with vital equipment, supplies and training programs to manage and treat burns, and significantly decrease burn-related disabilities.”
“More women are severely burned each year than are diagnosed with HIV and tuberculosis. Many of them end up with needless disabilities – a burned foot attaches to the shin as the wound “heals” and the skin contracts, making it impossible for a girl to walk to school. Women cannot care for their babies or earn a living because their hand has tightened into a fist or their arms are unmovable,” said ReSurge President & CEO Susan W. Hayes. “But there are solutions. Up to 60 percent of disabilities from small and moderate burns can be prevented with available and inexpensive treatments. We want to put those solutions into actions.”
This commitment will pilot a program to provide equipment and expertise needed to better manage small and moderate burns early in Nepal, where more women and girls die from fires alone – not including other burn sources – than from road traffic accidents, falls, self-inflicted injuries, HIV or malaria. The program seeks to reduce the number of people, especially women and children, who are permanently disabled by burns; strengthen the capacity of the local health system to prevent and treat burns; and increase the number of survivors who can attend school, earn a living and care for their families. Using the findings from this pilot program, International Medical Corps and ReSurge International will expand to all five regions of Nepal and eventually, other developing countries.