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August 27, 1997

Landmine-Related Injuries, 1993-1996

JAMA. 1997;278(8):621. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550080029014

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DURING 1980-1993, the incidence of landmine-related injuries doubled, resulting in an estimated 2000 deaths or injuries each month.1 Approximately 120 million landmines are buried in 71 countries throughout the world, and 2-5 million new landmines are planted each year. Some countries, such as Afghanistan, Angola, and Cambodia, have approximately 10 million landmines each.2 Landmines can have profound medical, environmental, and economic consequences, particularly for the civilian populations of those countries burdened with landmines. However, the consequences of landmines extend beyond the borders of those countries. Health-care workers and nongovernmental organizations are increasingly asked to assist emergency-affected, displaced, and refugee populations in regional conflicts, resulting in their increased exposure to landmines. This report describes three cases of landminerelated injury and illustrates the public health consequences of those injuries and the potential role for public health workers in preventing those injuries.

Case Reports 

Case 1.  On December 13