Medicinal maggot production and maggot therapy in armed conflict and other compromised healthcare settings

Civilians are increasingly the target of hostilities and represent the majority of casualties in current conflicts due to lack of personal protection and greater vulnerability to injury – often from explosive weapons. Mass casualty response and ongoing wound care is difficult because of shortages in medical supplies and personnel. Injury and poor hygiene in austere care settings (conflict as well as disasters and poverty) lead to antibiotic resistant infection and the loss of limbs and lives.

We will make maggot therapy available in conflict and disaster for the treatment of wounds. We will develop and test

  • a shipping container lab (C-lab) for large-volume medicinal maggot production and
  • small do-it-yourself production set-ups (DIY-lab) which affected communities can build and operate themselves.
  • Multi-lingual illustrated training manuals will permit professionals and lay persons to safely produce maggots and treat wounds.

Best practice wound care includes antibiotic treatment and surgical debridement prior to reconstruction and/or closure. In austere settings this treatment regimen is challenged, especially in mass casualty events. Available surgical capacity dictates triage decision-making. Ready access to maggot therapy will allow treatment of more patients by fewer medics, providing safe and efficacious debridement, infection control and wound healing to patients who might otherwise receive no treatment.

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