Globally, approximately 11 million people are burned severely enough to require medical attention each year and an estimated 265,000 deaths occur annually. However, according to the World Health Organization, people living in low-income countries, such as Kenya and other sub-saharan Africa countries, are at significantly greater risk of death due to a lack of treatment options and accessible facilities.
For eight years, Dr. Rajiv Sood, the medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation Burn Center at Eskenazi Health, has envisioned building a comprehensive burn center in Kenya. In 2009, Dr. Sood oversaw the construction of a burn center in El Salvador. He and a team of physicians from Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) trained the surgeons, established relationships, regular communication, and yearly mission trips to the facility. Before the burn center in El Salvador, burn victims with 25% burn coverage would not survive. Within a year, only the most severe burns (75% burn coverage and above) would not likely survive. After seeing that this multidisciplinary approach could work in a place of barren resources and extreme need, Dr. Sood resolved to find other locations where the success could be replicated. Eldoret, Kenya fits that criteria.
Harry Dyer is a fourth generation Kenyan who flies for conservation over the 33 million acre Tsavo National Park in Kenya. On January 12, 2017, he was burned over 45% of his body in a plane crash. This set forth a series of events that brought Harry and Dr. Sood together.
The relationship that has developed between Dr. Sood and Harry over the past few months has united key stakeholders in an exciting and life-changing venture – the planned construction of a state-of-the-art burn unit at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.
The Harry Dyer Burn Center’s primary goal is to improve the quality of life for burn survivors and, ultimately, diminish the incidence of burn injuries in Kenya, and throughout Africa, through prevention programs. To accomplish this, its physical and staffing capacities must increase. The new facilities will be fully equipped with the high quality equipment necessary to treat all burn victims. Along with the new and expanded facilities, additional local staff will be hired and trained. Furthermore, Eskenazi Health and other IUSM physicians, nurses, social workers, students, and other staff will make regular trips to the new facility to aid in training and performing complex surgeries.
Two million dollars are needed to construct and equip this life-changing facility.
The effects of Harry’s accident have already inspired additional life-saving measures, including the improvement of the pilot uniform fabric and the type of seat belts installed in the aircraft. Your generosity can ensure The Harry Dyer Burn Center will have an even greater impact, giving hope to thousands. Through the prevention and treatment efforts of the Harry Dyer Burn Center, thousands of lives can be saved from burn injuries and, through the highest quality treatment, thousands more burn survivors will be given the gift of the quality of life, with their families, they deserve.
To support the Harry Dyer Burn Center, click here.
If you have questions about the Harry Dyer Burn Center or to discuss other options, such as planned gifts or gifts of stock, please contact Kerry Dinneen via email or 317.880.4903.
For more on Harry’s story, please click here.