Medical Rehabilitation of Mine Victims from BIH
Providing medical and psychosocial assistance to the victims is an important part of mine action. ITF, together with the Miracle Centre from Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and the University Rehabilitation Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (URI – Soča), is implementing medical rehabilitation of mine victims from BiH. During the 1990s, BiH was involved in an armed conflict that left millions of square meters of mine contaminated land and thus a long-term threat to the population. Unfortunately, over the years many people sustained mine-related injuries. Though landmine casualty incidents have greatly diminished over the past few years, the issues facing mine/UXO victims and civilians injured by other means during the war (or afterwards as a direct consequence of war) remain as acute as they were at the end of the war.
Injuries can severely limit people’s mobility, independence, socialisation and employability, which can in turn lead to depression and other medical issues. Due to the current economic situation in BiH, mine victims are required to contribute to the cost of their prosthesis. Since those are expensive and many do not have jobs or are only receiving a minimum wage, the prosthetics normally received are very basic.
The majority of patients involved in the project is receiving medical rehabilitation at the Miracle Centre, however, due to very complicated injuries, three of the victims are travelling to Slovenia, where they are being attended to at URI – Soča. Two patients from BiH came to Slovenia at the end of August 2017 in order to receive new prostheses. Tihomir is a double-arm amputee, while Dejan lost his leg. Through the project ITF and its partners are enabling people like Tihomir and Dejan to receive more advanced prostheses that are fitted perfectly, do not cause additional problems and can be used for a longer period of time.
The project is financially supported by the German Federal Foreign Office.