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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-56

Experiences of burn patients in Ghana: A qualitative study at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra

1 Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management, University of Ghana Business School, Accra, Ghana
2 Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana
3 Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lily Yarney
University of Ghana Business School, Accra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijb.ijb_18_19

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Background: Statistics on the trends of burn injuries in Ghana, Africa, and the world at large indicate unacceptable number of lives lost through burns. Aside these deaths, individuals who survive suffer lots of physical and psychological burdens as a result of long hospitalization and pain from the regular wound dressing, and physical deformities in severe cases. This study focused on the sources of burns, types of burns, how burns are managed, and the effects of burns on victims to enable an empirical basis for formulating preventive educational materials for awareness creation and preventive education. Methodology: We employed a case study design and purposively selected 20 participants made up of 15 adults and 5 caregivers of children with burns who were receiving treatment at the Reconstructive, Plastic Surgery, and Burns Centre of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra for the study. In-depth interviews were conducted with participants to ascertain the type and sources of burns incurred, and their experiences with the study facility and living with the consequences of burns. Recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed based on themes with the study objectives as a guide. Results: The majority of participants had third-degree burns from explosive sources either at their place of residence or the work-place. The physical and psychological effects of burns have been unbearable. Their encounter with the study facility has been pleasant with few challenges related to the cost of treatment, some personnel, and waiting time. Conclusion: Massive education on burns and the prevention of accidental burns in Ghana is needed. Training of more personnel to handle patients in a professional manner and cost of care of burn patients should be placed on the agenda of all relevant stakeholders in the country.

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