Global data show that females have slightly higher rates of death from burns compared to males.
Officiating at the opening of the Burns Unit workshop at the Pearl Resort on Friday, Ministry of Health and Medical Services head of wellness, Dr Devina Nand said this contrasted with the usual injury pattern, where rates of injury for the various injury mechanisms tend to be higher in males than females.
Dr Nand said the higher risk for females is associated with open fire cooking, or inherently unsafe cookstoves, which can ignite loose clothing.
“Open flames used for heating and lighting also pose risks, and self-directed or interpersonal violence are also factors (although understudied),” she said.
“Along with adult women, children are particularly vulnerable to burns. Burns is the fifth most common cause of non-fatal childhood injuries.
“While a major risk is improper adult supervision, a considerable number of burn injuries in children result from child maltreatment.
“Burns is a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 180 000 deaths annually.”