President & Founder
Margrit Elliot Igniting Hope
A Vision to Help Burn Victims Globally
Beginning With a Pilot Program in Bhutan
Our work in Bhutan started with a heart-felt vision to bring medical help directly to those in need. After a couple of fact-finding trips to Bhutan in the year 2000, an invitation was received from the Minister of Health to set up a reconstructive surgery program. We set the tone by respecting the culture, being good listeners as needs were officially expressed, and understanding inter-active participation. We were advised that it would be best if the team was kept small, and that continuity and training were key elements.
Since 2001, our small team of reconstructive surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses have returned every year changing lives and building higher levels of trust and friendship mostly working on cleft lip and palate patients.
Based on the number of burn victims encountered throughout the years, it became evident that initial burn care to decrease morbidity, prevent infections and contractures was very much needed. To meet this need, Global Burn Care & Reconstructive Institute (GBCRI) was created.Burns
The World Health Organization reports that fire related burns represent a significant global health burden, especially for children and women. Flammable structures, kerosene and open fires are the common causes of these burns. Very little access to adequate burn care is available, and those fortunate enough to survive endure painful suffering and are left with disabling scars and emontional trauma. These unfortunate victims become social and invisible outcasts and are lifelong burndens to their families.
WHO statics report that just as many women suffer burns from fire each year as from HIV/AIDS, and more school-age children die each year of fire-caused injuries than of tuberculosis or malaria. No official statistics are available with regard to scalding or electrical burns as well as the many victims living with disabling post-burn contractures.