Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and the country with the lowest per capita income among Central American countries, with 42.5 percent of the Nicaraguan population living in poverty, and 14.6 percent in extreme poverty, presents ideal conditions and risks factors for a high incidence of children who are accidentally burned. The low-level of education of the majority of Nicaraguans is another risk factor that greatly contributes to this national health problem. Accidental burns have become a public health crisis: it is the second most common cause of death by accident and more children die annually from burns than from HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, according to Resurge International.
APROQUEN data shows that the great majority of the victims of accidental burns are children and of these 90% occur at home, usually in the kitchen (53%), or at home backyards (25%), due to garbage burning. Mothers are present 74% of the time during these types of accidents.
At APROQUEN, care is holistic, child-centered and provided by superior surgeons, pediatric specialists, nurses and therapeutic professionals, and others at no cost to the patients families. APROQUEN is Central America’s premier, non-profit organization and burn center. In the efforts to reduce the prevalence and incidence of burns, APROQUEN has created prevention-education activities. To decrease the rate of childhood burns, APROQUEN’s medical team visits pre-schools and elementary schools. This innovative program reaches children, teachers, and families throughout Nicaragua’s most underserved and high-risk communities. With the support of different media outlets in Nicaragua, APROQUEN has initiated an on-going campaign to raise awareness for burn prevention.
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