In honor of National Physician Assistant (PA) Week earlier this month, Jennifer Wall, MSPAS, PA-C, founder and president of the Africa Relief Burn Program and recipient of the BWH PA Services Grant, shared her experience and challenges working in the village of Nkhoma in Malawi, Africa.
With only 2 percent of the southeast African country having access to electricity, all daily activities, such as heat, bathing, laundry and cooking, center around wood fires, and so burn-related injuries are common. The Africa Relief Burn Program’s multidisciplinary team of PAs and a surgeon travel to Malawi every year, for two to six weeks at a time, providing aid in a facility that assesses the needs of burn victims, provides treatment, and educates victims, local villagers and medical personnel on burn care and prevention methods. Prevention methods for local residents include using the “stop, drop and roll” technique and tutorial, publication of a children’s book on fire safety techniques and performances by a drama troupe about fire safety.
The nonprofit organization aims to educate and empower resident medical providers to reduce burn-related mortality in the country and give residents confidence in the access to adequate care when burns occur.
For more information about the program, please visit; www.africaburnrelief.com or check out the Africa Burn Relief Program Facebook page.