Trauma care in Malawi: A call to action.
Mulwafu W., Chokotho L., Mkandawire N., Pandit H., Deckelbaum DL., Lavy C., Jacobsen KH.
Injuries are a global public health concern because most are preventable yet they continue to be a major cause of death and disability, especially among children, adolescents, and young adults. This enormous loss of human potential has numerous negative social and economic consequences. Malawi has no formal system of prehospital trauma care, and there is limited access to hospital-based trauma care, orthopaedic surgery, and rehabilitation. While some hospitals and research teams have established local trauma registries and quantified the burden of injuries in parts of Malawi, there is no national injury surveillance database compiling the data needed in order to develop and implement evidence-based prevention initiatives and guidelines to improve the quality of clinical care. Studies in other low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have demonstrated cost-effective methods for enhancing prehospital, in-hospital, and post-discharge care of trauma patients. We encourage health sectors leaders from across Malawi to take action to improve trauma care and reduce the burden from injury in this country.