The challenges of wound healing in the developing world are connected to the reasons for failing health-care delivery, which in turn are linked to poverty and social unrest. Good standards of practice in resource poor settings can only be achieved though a narrowed focus on the key principles and minimum standards of care. Such standards must be based on evidence and should be carried out as a consequence of effective training and evaluated practice.

At the EWMA 2013 conference World Alliance for Wound & Lymphedema Care (WAWLC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) decided to elaborate a dressing kit for use in low-resource settings based on international consensus on wound care. A revised standard kit will be presented for debate and input in preparation for the presentation of a final kit in the WAWLC Symposium at the Canadian Association of Wound Care (CAWC) conference from October 30 - November 2, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. The completed version of the dressing kit will be circulated to wound care companies to have their proposal on concrete products to be included in the kit.

What is a dressing kit?
NGOs and international organisations (including UNICEF, UNHCR, ICRC and MSF) use medical equipment kits to enable them to respond quickly and in a standardized way to major medical situations that they face in their programs.
A kit is a set of items selected and assembled to meet the requirements of a specific situation during an emergency operation or to fulfil certain standard functions, such as:

  • Surgical kits, which include all the medicinal products and equipment required to quickly set up surgical units (sterilization, anaesthesia, etc.);
  • A dressing kit is a box containing medical equipment for treatment of chronic wounds in a health center.

Why do we need to make a new dressing kit?
The dressing kits currently used by international organisations were made 20 years ago and do not take into account the international consensus on wound healing and the progress made by dressing materials manufacturers. A dressing kit allows us, amongst others, to

  • Provide the necessary equipment for standardised wound care treatment of patients in an emergency;
  • Harmonize trainings by recommending the same list of medical materials;
  • Facilitate budgeting for both donors and program managers;
  • Facilitate negotiations with the medical industry to get better commercial conditions;
  • Facilitate the deployment of medical emergencies.


What are the contents of a dressing kit?
Wound care requires several categories of materials:

  • Oral and parenteral drugs that can be useful in wound care (analgesics, antibiotics...)
  • Reusable materials (clamps, scissors...)Non-reusable materials used for wound care itself (antiseptics, dressings…)

In this workshop we are only interested in non-reusable materials used for wound care itself (antiseptics, dressings…). The initial preliminary list drafted last year will be available at the website before the conference.

We propose to establish an initial list of 50 items. In a final step we intend to split it in a basic kit of 30 essential items, and a second list of 20 complementary items.

The first step was a Delphi like consultation launched at the end of 2012.

As a second step, this consultation materiel was discussed during a workshop, in May 2013 during EWMA conference in Copenhagen, by field and scientific experts, allowing the definition of the first part of the kit.

During the EWMA conference in Madrid in May 2014, the third step of the action will allow second part of the kit during this workshop. In order to be efficient, the materiel of the 2 first steps will be circulated through the web before that event.

This workshop will bring together experts in wound care and actors of humanitarian contexts. Bringing together these different experiences should help to define the rest of the essential wound care materials that we need to select for this kit.

Once this step terminated, the next ones will be to work both with major NGO’s, UN agencies and industry to give birth to these kits.

Information on WAWLC

WAWLC is a global partnership between health organizations, non-governmental organizations, health professional associations, academic and research institutions, industry and individuals interested in advancing wound care and lymphoedema management worldwide.

The WAWLC mission is to work in partnership with communities worldwide in settings with limited re-sources to advance sustainable prevention and care of wounds and lymphoedema. WAWLC started as a working group in 2007 and was officially launched as global partnership in 2009. Please check out the website

The session took place on Wednesday 14 May from 16.45-18.00 in Room N114.