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Non-fatal burn is a major cause of illness: findings from the largest community-based national survey in Bangladesh
  1. S R Mashreky1,2,
  2. A Rahman1,
  3. S M Chowdhury1,
  4. T F Khan3,
  5. L Svanström2,
  6. F Rahman1,2
  1. 1
    Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), Bangladesh
  2. 2
    Department of Public Health Science, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  3. 3
    Centre for Medical Education, Bangladesh
  1. Correspondence to Dr S R Mashreky, Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB), Bangladesh; mashreky{at}


Objective: To examine the incidence and characteristics of non-fatal burn injury in Bangladesh.

Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted between January and December 2003 in Bangladesh. Nationally representative data were collected from 171 366 rural and urban households, with a total sample size of 819 429.

Results: The incidence of non-fatal burns was 166.3 per 100 000 per year. The rate was higher in females than in males (RR 1.15; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.27). Children less than 5 years of age were at much higher risk of burn injury than those older than 5 years (RR 7.05; 95% CI 6.35 to 7.8). Rural people were at more than three times higher risk of burn. The average number of days absent from school due to burn injury was 21.64 (SD 19.64); the average number of workdays lost was 22.96 (SD 35.94). The average duration of assistance required in daily living activities was 17.26 (SD 20.34) days. The hospitalisation rate was 12.6 per 100 000 population per year. The mean duration of hospital stay was 15.88 (SD 20.47) days. The rate of permanent disability was 2.6 per 100 000 population-years.

Conclusion: Burn is a major cause of morbidity, disability, school absence, and workday loss. Young children, females, and rural dwellers are at highest risk. Home is the most risky place for children and females in terms of burn injury risk. To halt this devastating health issue, a national strategy and programme for burn prevention must be developed.

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  • Funding The study was funded by UNICEF, Bangladesh.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ethical Committee of the Institute of Child and Mother Health, Dhaka.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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