Saving Lives Through Burn Prevention Education

Aproquen, Nicaragua FreeText Editor

Aproquen, Nicaragua

In Nicaragua, accidental burns are the second most common cause of death by accident. The majority of victims are children – most under the age of five – often coming from low-income families who cannot afford the expensive and specialised medical treatments required for burn injuries. In 2017, supported by the Puma Energy Foundation, APROQUEN launched a burn prevention programme aimed at tackling a primary cause of burns incidents: lack of understanding of risk factors and misconceptions on first aid measures. The three-year initiative includes burn-prevention training for schoolteachers, community leaders and children. Notably, participants then act as ambassadors for the programme by organising further trainings and sharing their learnings with the wider community.

In 2019, the APROQUEN programme gained valuable national and regional attention when it was invited to the Latin American Federation of Burns Congress (FELAQ) to present the preliminary results of the programme. Another important highlight was the involvement of 12 Puma Energy volunteers in the programme. They received training in burn prevention and assisted APROQUEN’s technical team in providing workshops to parents, teachers, community leaders and children, becoming ambassadors of burn prevention in Nicaragua’s vulnerable communities.

Meanwhile, participating schools in municipalities with the highest incidences of paediatric burns are encouraged by the programme’s potential. Fátima Miranda Martínez, Director of Aguas Amarillas school in the municipality of El Tuma-La Dalia, says: “We would like to express our gratitude to APROQUEN and the Puma Energy Foundation for the valuable support given to us. Our students and the school’s entire staff took part in workshops on burn prevention and first aid measures. And now we can pass on this knowledge to other teachers, parents, community leaders and children through replica workshops.”