<% vol = 15 number = 1 nextlink = 7 titolo = "BURN PREVENTION AND BURN PREVENTION PROGRAMMES " volromano = "XV" data_pubblicazione = "March 2002" header titolo %>

Koulermou G.

Clinic for Plastic Surgery, Microsurgery and Burns, Makarios Hospital, Nicosia, Cyprus

SUMMARY.After considering the general psycho-emotional and physical changes in the life of a burned person, and the importance of effective prevention programmes, the Author of this article examines the specific situation in Cyprus, with reference to educational campaigns. A particular reference is made to local traditions in Cyprus that may be hazardous. Emphasis is laid on the importance of safety in the home.


Nowadays it is acceptable and inevitable that ‘prevention is the ultimate therapy in combating a disease’. The World Health Organization and local organizations in individual countries have focused their attention on prevention since despite the great leaps in medicine in the treatment of various diseases it has been shown that once an organism has been marred and stigmatized, nothing more can be done other than to improve the quality of life.

Concentrating specifically on burns, this area covers a field involving immense psycho-emotional and physical changes in the patient’s life, i.e.:

It is obvious that the economic cost of dealing with the aforementioned factors is much greater than the provision of funding for education with a view to the necessary changes that must occur in our everyday life, in our home environment, and in the workplace, with the establishment of:

Prevention programmes should start with well-organized bodies and address groups of people that represent important social sectors, i.e.:

From there, the family concentrates on pre-school and school children. At the same time, these organizations can continuously update the schools, which in turn can further educate the children; adolescents receive direct input via the organizations. The children are thus informed both by their families and by schools.

Burn prevention programmes in Cyprus

Since 1996, following an initiative of the Cyprus Burns Association, a burn prevention programme has been put into practice in Cyprus, involving the following organizations:

The most important age group for education is that of teenagers, considering that they are the parents and work force of tomorrow. In this way, the safety of three major sectors is assured: of school age, the family environment, and the workplace.

The following elements play their part in the enlightenment of the family unit:

and concurrently, within the school environment, via the mass media:

In the workplace, education must be given with the help again of the mass media and of information leaflets produced by these various organizations.

Special habits and circumstances

Although there are common areas of concern all over the world, there are also special habits and local conditions of life that should be taken into account when educational prevention programmes are being developed. As an example, in Cyprus, burn causes include:

Prevention programmes at home

Prevention programmes at home should address:

Safety in the kitchen is extremely important for the prevention of childhood burns. It is crucial that children should be kept away from this household area, where they can so easily come into contact with hot equipment, such as ovens and irons, and boiling liquids.

In addition, it is advisable to accompany young children to the bathroom in order to avoid burns from hot water.


Prevention programmes must always concentrate on the everyday habits of adults, children, and adolescents and at the same time on specific circumstances that apply in each separate country.

A proper understanding of the dangers involved should be given from childhood so that secure conditions become a way of life.

Education at the right time regarding the dangers that exist in any given area leads to altered habits and lifestyles, resulting in a safe and danger-free environment.

RESUME. Après avoir considéré les modifications psychoémotives et physiques dans la vie des brûlés et l’importance d’un programme efficace de prévention l’Auteur analyse la situation spécifique à Chypre, pour ce qui concerne les campagnes d’éducation. L’Auteur considère en particulier les traditions locales à Chypre et souligne l’importance de la sécurité dans la maison.


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<% riquadro "This paper was received on 17 April 2001.

Address correspondence to: Dr G. Koulermou, Head of the Clinic for Plastic Surgery, Microsurgery and Burns, Makarios Hospital, Nicosia, Cyprus. " %>

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