About the initiative

A vision for burn care

Training health care workers to improve surgical care for everyone in the world

Burn injuries are among the most common and devastating of all injuries. We want to provide access to safe and effective surgical care so we can improve outcomes for patients with severe burns.

To achieve this, we create and teach the universal treatment principles of burn care, which are applicable to every setting worldwide.

We developed this website and courses in collaboration with burn doctors, surgeons, burn care nurses, plastic surgeons and physiotherapists working in high-income and resource-limited settings.

5 billion people around the world lack access to safe surgical care

We want to share the collective global knowledge
of burn care with everyone.

One world, one standard of burn care
We are inspired by the principle of ‘One World, One Standard of Burn Care’, proclaimed by Dr. David Mackie during his chairmanship of the International Society for Burn Injuries (2012-2016). The principles of burn care are the same around the world; only the situations differ. Our approach is therefore ‘think global, act local.’

5 billion people around the world lack access to safe surgical care

7-12 million people each year need burn care

19,010,000 DALYs
are lost due to burn injuries

90% of burn patients live in low- and middle-income countries

2 million
health workers need training to give better care

Successful change must be locally driven by local leaders, supported by global partners through true accompaniment, global collaboration, and an emphasis on systems, not silos.

Only in this way will we be able to achieve health, welfare, and economic development for all.
We want to unite medical specialists, residents, global health doctors and students to perform research and develop teaching initiatives for global surgery

We make essential information on burn care available to everyone

We have been working to help improve burn care in resource-limited settings by providing training in burn care for healthcare workers. Yet, it became apparent that for a greater impact, continuous and widespread availability of essential information on treating burns and contractures was necessary.

That’s why we created the Basics of Burn Care website: to be able to teach everyone the basic principles of the treatment of burn injuries.

Universal knowledge, developed with a global team

The information on this website was developed in collaboration with contributors from different settings and with different backgrounds, first as downloadable eBooks.

This website includes practical examples from Bangladesh, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, and visual examples from the perspectives of healthcare workers and patients in their own settings.
What we do

We aim to transform burn care

With a focus on the exchange of knowledge and skills, we organize collaborative educational activities on global surgery for healthcare workers around the world. Our work includes:
Building strong connections and partnerships with six countries
Optimizing existing standards to create evidence-based global standards
Making knowledge and skills globally applicable and accessible, minimizing waste
Developing high-quality (digital) educational and training materials, including eBooks, this website and our courses
Transforming traditional surgical missions to provide more sustainable teaching and training of local healthcare workers
Enabling others to bring this approach to scale
Training healthcare staff around the world, in their local contexts
Following a continuous improvement cycle through aligned research projects

An initiative of Global Surgery Amsterdam in collaboration with:

  • Haydom Lutheran Hospital, Tanzania
  • Pujehun Government Hospital, Sierra Leone
  • Friendship Bangladesh
  • Amsterdam University Medical Centres. plastic and reconstructive surgery department
  • The burn centre of the Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, the Netherlands
  • Doctors ot the World Netherlands
  • Interplast Holland
  • The Dutch Burn Foundation
Global Surgery Amsterdam (GSA) is an international research and education institute that works to develop sustainable solutions in global surgery. Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, our team of experts coordinates a global network of healthcare professionals, uniting medical specialists, residents, global health doctors and students to perform research and develop teaching initiatives for global surgery.

At GSA we are dedicated to teaching surgical skills that will improve health outcomes and increase access to surgical education. By building strong connections and partnerships with six countries, we ensure the materials we develop are universally applicable, helping save lives around the world.
Our vision

A world where Universal Access to essential surgical care is safe, affordable, and available to all people, on demand, regardless of their personal circumstance.

Our mission

Improve access to essential surgical care around the world by pursuing research, education and training, and the development of technology.

Contributors to the Basics of Burn Care project

Supervision of the teaching materials development and/or the standardization of the basic of burn care course is provided by the following experts:

  • Annebeth de Vries, Pediatric burn surgeon; Red Cross Hospital, The Netherlands
  • Caroline Driessen, Plastic surgeon; Amsterdam University Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  • Claar Bijleveld, Anesthesiologist, Medisch Spectrum Twente; The Netherlands
  • Dave Mackie, Anesthesiologist and former chair of the International Society for Burn Injuries, The Netherlands
  • Edris Kalanzi, Plastic surgeon; Kiruddu Referral Hospital, Uganda
  • Hay Winters, Plastic surgeon; Amerstam Univerity Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  • Helma Hofland, Specialized nurse in burn care, Maasatad Ziekenhuis Burn Centre, The Netherlands
  • Ilona Spaan, Anesthesiologist; Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, The Netherlands
  • Jenda Hop, Plastic surgeon; Erasmus Medical Centre, The Netherlands
  • Jos Vloemans, Burn specialist, Red Cross Hospital, The Netherlands
  • Kiran Baran, Burn specialist, Red Cross Hospital, The Netherlands
  • Matthijs Botman, Plastic surgeon; Amsterdam University Medical Centre, The Netherlands 
  • Paul van Zuijlen, Plastic surgeon and professor in burn care; Red Cross Hospital, The Netherlands
  • Rose Alenyo, Plastic surgeon; Kiruddu Referral Hospital, Uganda
  • Shoista Kambiz, Plastic surgeon, Groene Hart Ziekenhuis, The Netherlands

For the development of the teaching materials we would like to thank:

  • Adrien Mbiya

  • Annabel Snoeks

  • Annebeth de Vries
  • Carlijn Stekelenburg

  • Claar Bijleveld

  • Dave Mackie

  • Donna Witte

  • Efraim Hart

  • Emmanuel Nuwass
  • Grayson Mtui

  • Hay Winters
  • Helma Hofland

  • Jochem Bretschneider
  • Joost Binnerts

  • Jos Vloemans

  • Joshua Gidabayda
  • Kelly Kwa

  • Kim Gardien

  • Kiran Baran

  • Louise de Haas

  • Lucy Goodchild
  • Malkiadi Matle
  • Maria Bakker

  • Marielle Jaspers

  • Matthijs Botman

  • Milou Cruijssen

  • Paul van Zuijlen
  • Thom Hendriks

  • Lucy Goodchild

Project coordination team

  • Kris Herwig
  • Matthijs Botman
  • Charissa Rahmee
  • Louise de Haas
  • Shoista Kambiz
  • Maria Bakker
  • Claire van Hövell tot Westerflier
  • Myrthe Simon



  • Thom Hendriks

  • Louise de Haas

  • Matthijs Botman

  • Niels Keekstra

General acknowledgements

For their help in the realization of this project would like to thank:

  • Alexander Igogo
  • Andrew Mugisha
  • Avelina Temba
  • Carine van Schie
  • Daudi Lotto
  • Hayte Samo
  • Jurre van Kesteren
  • Marco Ritt
  • Pascal Mdoe
  • Paulina Fissoo
  • Rob Baardse
  • Vickyfarajaeli Daudi