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August 5, 1998

Preventing Land Mine–Related Injury and DisabilityA Public Health Perspective

Author Affiliations

From the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (Drs Krug, Ikeda, Anderson, and Rosenberg) and the National Center for Environmental Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Mr Qualls and Dr Jackson), Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1998;280(5):465-466. doi:10.1001/jama.280.5.465

LAND MINES are a public health problem. Land mines kill and maim, cause long-term psychological sequelae, and impose a financial burden on families, health institutions, and the community. The exact number of people who are fatally injured by stepping on mines and those who survive with life-long disability is unknown, but it is estimated to be in the thousands each year.1 During armed conflict, most victims and survivors of land mine injury are military personnel, but after hostilities cease many victims and survivors are civilians.24 Most of those injured are men, but women and children make up a substantial proportion as well.26 For example, 1 study conducted in 4 countries found that about 1 in 10 victims was younger than 15 years old.6 The indirect consequences affect the entire community and may include increases in the incidence of waterborne diseases, malnutrition, and infectious diseases because land mines block access to arable land, roads, and health facilities.7

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