Simplified Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Device for Application in Low-Resource Settings.

Negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) provides proven wound healing benefits and is often a desirable wound treatment methodology. Unfortunately, NPWT devices are not widely available in low-resource settings. To overcome the identified NPWT barriers, a simplified NPWT (sNPWT) system was designed and iteratively improved during field-based testing. The sNPWT technology, our device design iterations, and the design-based results of our field tests are described in this article. The sNPWT system includes a bellows hand pump, an occlusive drape, and a tube with tube connectors, connecting the drape to the pump. The most critical property of an sNPWT system is that it must be airtight. The details of the design iterations, which are needed to achieve an occlusive system, are explained. During the design process, the sNPWT system was tested during the earthquake relief in Haiti. This testing found that a liquid sealant was necessary to seal the drape to the periwound skin. A study conducted in Rwanda verified that a liquid latex sealant was safe to use, and that the tube connector must be connected to the drape with an airtight method during the manufacturing process. This work has shown that sNPWT is feasible in low-resource settings. Since the completion of the clinical testing, the design has been further evolved, and the developers are working with contract manufacturers to produce the final design and preparing for regulatory approval applications.

Exploring perceptions of common practices immediately following burn injuries in rural communities of Bangladesh

Burns can be the most devastating injuries in the world, they constitute a global public health problem and cause widespread public health concern. Every year in Bangladesh more than 365,000 people are injured by electrical, thermal and other causes of burn injuries. Among them 27,000 need hospital admission and over 5600 people die. Immediate treatment and medication has been found to be significant in the success of recovering from a burn. However, common practices used in the treatment of burn injuries in the community is not well documented in Bangladesh. This study was designed to explore the perception of local communities in Bangladesh the common practices used and health-seeking behaviors sought immediately after a burn injury has occurred.

A qualitative study was conducted using Focus Group Discussions (FGD) as the data collection method. Six unions of three districts in rural Bangladesh were randomly selected and FGDs were conducted in these districts with six burn survivors and their relatives and neighbours. Data were analyzed manually, codes were identified and the grouped into themes.

The participants stated that burn injuries are common during the winter in Bangladesh. Inhabitants in the rural areas said that it was common practice, and correct, to apply the following to the injured area immediately after a burn: egg albumin, salty water, toothpaste, kerosene, coconut oil, cow dung or soil. Some also believed that applying water is harmful to a burn injury. Most participants did not know about any referral system for burn patients. They expressed their dissatisfaction about the lack of available health service facilities at the recommended health care centers at both the district level and above.

In rural Bangladesh, the current first-aid practices for burn injuries are incorrect; there is a widely held belief that using water on burns is harmful.

An assessment of orofacial clefts in Tanzania

Clefts of the lip (CL), the palate (CP), or both (CLP) are the most common orofacial congenital malformations found among live births, accounting for 65% of all head and neck anomalies. The frequency and pattern of orofacial clefts in different parts of the world and among different human groups varies widely. Generally, populations of Asian or Native American origin have the highest prevalence, while Caucasian populations show intermediate prevalence and African populations the lowest. To date, little is known regarding the epidemiology and pattern of orofacial clefts in Tanzania.

A retrospective descriptive study was conducted at Bugando Medical Centre to identify all children with orofacial clefts that attended or were treated during a period of five years. Cleft lip and/or palate records were obtained from patient files in the Hospital’s Departments of Surgery, Paediatrics and medical records. Age at presentation, sex, region of origin, type and laterality of the cleft were recorded. In addition, presence of associated congenital anomalies or syndromes was recorded.

A total of 240 orofacial cleft cases were seen during this period. Isolated cleft lip was the most common cleft type followed closely by cleft lip and palate (CLP). This is a departure from the pattern of clefting reported for Caucasian and Asian populations, where CLP or isolated cleft palate is the most common type. The distribution of clefts by side showed a statistically significant preponderance of the left side (43.7%) (χ2 = 92.4, p < 0.001), followed by the right (28.8%) and bilateral sides (18.3%). Patients with isolated cleft palate presented at very early age (mean age 1.00 years, SE 0.56). Associated congenital anomalies were observed in 2.8% of all patients with orofacial clefts, and included neural tube defects, Talipes and persistent ductus arteriosus.

Unilateral orofacial clefts were significantly more common than bilateral clefts; with the left side being the most common affected side. Most of the other findings did not show marked differences with orofacial cleft distributions in other African populations.