The World Health Organization Plan for Burn Prevention and Care (2008) highlights certain barriers and challenges to the wider adoption of burn prevention.
There is inadequate cognizance of the magnitude and cost of the burn problem among policy-makers and donors. According to the WHO, "An awareness that the current high rates of burn death, disability and disfigurement could be brought down by affordable and sustainable improvements in prevention care is also lacking." 6
Several of the stratagems that have helped to decrease the burden of burns in high-income countries have been implemented through policy changes. Per the WHO Burn Prevention and Care report, "many low- and middle-income countries have not yet developed burns policies, nor have they put into place action plans, legislation or regulations to address the problem of burns. Even when burn policies exist, enforcement is often inadequate." 6
Data and Measurement:
It is generally accepted that accurate problem description is essential to planning effective interventions. However, in many less well-resourced countries, data on burns is limited and/or inaccurate. In some countries, a lack of reliable data on risk factors further hinders the promulgation and enactment of effective burn prevention strategies, while in others, inadequate reporting of burn events leads to under-assessment of the gravity of the public health problem. 6
Research and Prevention:
One of the barriers to greater implementation of burn prevention methods in low income countries is the lack of widely available information on what constitutes effective burn prevention strategies and programs.6 One challenge to this is that several of the burn prevention strategies used in high-income countries are not completely applicable. 6 In many low-income countries, especially in rural areas and among the urban poor, the epidemiological patterns for burns and the associated risk factors differ markedly from those in high-income countries.6 Hence, very different strategies are required. According to the WHO (2008), "Rigorous documentation of the effect of prevention efforts aimed at risk factors and various scenarios is, to date, very limited. Given that approximately two billion people worldwide cook on open fires or very basic traditional stoves - that in order to reduce the number of fire-related burn deaths worldwide, evidence-based strategies to address these particular risks are going to be needed." 6