ofthe M.B.C - vol. I - n° 1 - September 1987
BURN INJURIES IN EGYPT - INCIDENCE AND
Reda Mabrouk AW
Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit - 33 EI Ahram Street, Helipolis, Cairo
SUMMARY. Burn injuries in
Egypt represent a major problem as compared with heart diseases, malignancy and road
accidents. St~ili,-,tic:il studies reveal that about 0.1% of the total population are
affected by major burns. Death rate is still high, about 30%. Of the saved 1)~tlieiil,;
36% need later reconstruction. Domestic causes are responsible for 75% of the injuries,
the rest are caused by industrial and road A report was presented to the Ministry of
Public Health in 1984 showing these facts. It discussed the prophyiactic measures and the
ffit.), expenses of treatment which could not be afTorded by individuals. It emphasized
the responsibility of the government and organizations for burn management. The
authorities, agreeing with the report, have adopted a plan for prophylaxis and have
started burn units and centres in different localities depending on the population and
statistical studies of' the injury incidence.
The seriousness of burn injuries in
Egypt has been always appreciated. The importance given by ancient Egyptians is recorded
in different archaeological sites in Sahara and Upper Egypt.
Recently, the authorities asked
the Medical Committee of the National council to study the problem of burn injuries. I was
honoured to take over the responsibility for this study. The following communication is a
r&sum& of the report presented to the government and the steps taken accordingly.
One out of 900 persons is affected by a major burn - a very high incidence if compared
with the U.S.A. incidence where the rate is one in 2800.
Statistical studies show that:
the average stay in hospital is 45 days;
the death rate is very high - about 30/36% of the injured need later
Domestic causes are responsible for 75% of the injuries, comprising mainly children and
housewives. The rest are caused in appreciable percentage especially in young females -
the cases are very difficulty to treat.
The report emphasizes the high expense of treatmerit which is beyond the individual's
financial capacities. It recommends that the management of burn injuries should be the
Government's and Medical Insurance Organizations' responsibility. The recommendations may
be summarized as follows:
I Prophylaxis and Prevention
1) Statistical studies of the causes of burns indifferent areas of file country;
2) More attention should he paid to industrial security especially for domestic
appliances, with strict control over the execution of laws concerning industrial security;
3) Good, appealing and effective propaganda through T.V., radio and the Press;
4) Development of security measures in building in villages and in cities
II Treatment facilities
1) Establishment of a burn treatment programme to be executed by the general hospitals
throughout the country, which should differ according to the local available facilities;
2) Establishment of more burn units and centres in areas proved to be statistically in
Results of the
The report was
published in 1984 with the agreemerit of the authorities.
RÉSUMÉ. Les brűlures en Egypte représentent
un problčme plus grave que les maladies de coeur, les accidents de la route et les
tumeurs. Les statistiques ont relevé que 0.1% de toute la population a subi de graves
brűlures. Le taux de mortalité est encore élevé, environ 30%. Des patients qui
survivent 36% ont besoin d'une reconstitution. Ce sont les accidents de la vie
domestique qui sont responsables Lie 75% de ces brűlures, le reste est causé par des
accidents de la route ou du travail en usine. Un rapport, exposant ces faits, a été
présenté au Ministčre de la Santé Publique en 1984. On y parlait des mesures de
prévention et de l'importance des frais de traitement qui pouvaient ne pas etre
affrontés par les particuliers. On mettait l'accent sur les responsabilités du Gouvernement et des compagnies d'assurances pour le traitement des
brűlures. Les autorités, en accord avec le rapport, ont adopté un plail de prévention
et ont établi des centres dans différentes localités en fonction de la population et
des statistiques d'accidents.
Before 1984 we had two Centres, one in Caiiro and another in Alexandria and three Burn
Units. Ailer 1984 four Units were added in Cairo, Giza, Monopia and Sharkia Governorates
and it is hoped to finish establishing another three Units by the end of' 1987.