Rehabilitation and psychosocial assistance for mine and UXO victims from Bosnia and Herzegovina
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 and psychosocial assistance for 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, socialization 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 are receiving medical rehabilitation and psychosocial assistance at the Miracle Centre, however, due to very complicated injuries, four of the victims came to Slovenia at URI – Soča on 05 November 2018 in order to receive new prosthesis. Muarem, Gostimir, Zoran and Željko lost their leg. Through the project, ITF and its partners are enabling people 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.