Burn injury prevention in low- and middle- income countries: scoping systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Kate Price
  • Kwang Chear Lee
  • Katherine Woolley
  • Henry Falk
  • Michael Peck
  • Naiem Moiemen

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham
  • University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Emory University
  • University of Arizona


Introduction: Burn injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and disability, with the burden of disease being disproportionately higher in Low and Middle income countries (LMIC). Burn prevention programmes have led to significant reductions in the incidence of burn injuries in high income countries.

However, a previous systematic review published in 2015 highlighted that implementation and evaluation of similar programmes has been limited in LMIC. We have updated and extended this existing systematic review, to obtain an overview on the current status of burn prevention initiatives in LMIC.

Methods: Suitable publications were identified from three sources. Firstly, data was extracted from manuscripts identified in the systematic review published by Rybarczyk et al. We then updated this review by performing a search for manuscripts on burn prevention interventions in LMIC, published between January 2015- September 2020. Finally, we extracted data from two other relevant systematic reviews where burn evidence was not the primary outcome.

Results: In total, 24 manuscripts were identified and categorised according to intervention type. The majority of manuscripts (n=16) described education-based interventions, applied within the school or community setting or at the population level. Four manuscripts focused on environmental modification interventions and four adopted a mixed methods approach. All of the education-based initiatives demonstrated improvements in knowledge relating to burn safety measures or first aid, however few measured the impact of their intervention on burn incidence. Four manuscripts described population-based educational interventions and noted reductions in burn incidence. Only one of the four manuscripts describing environmental modification interventions reported burns as a primary outcome measure, noting a reduction in burn incidence. All of the mixed method interventions demonstrated some positive improvements in either burn incidence or burns-related safety practices.

Conclusion: There is still a lack of published literature describing large-scale burn prevention programmes in LMIC which can demonstrate sustained reductions in burn incidence. Population-level, collaborative projects are necessary to drive forward burn prevention, through specific environmental or legislative changes and supplementary educational programmes.

- We have provided an update on the status of burn prevention programmes in low- and middle-income countries • Through our updated search we identified a number of interventions which demonstrated the potential success of environmental initiatives through improving unsafe cookstoves
- The majority of studies identified in this review described small-scale education-based initiatives which used knowledge-based outcomes
- Population-level, collaborative projects are necessary to drive forward burn prevention, through specific environmental interventions and supplementary educational programmes

Bibliographic note

Not yet published as of 13/10/2021.


Original languageEnglish
JournalBurns & Trauma
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Sep 2021