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Victims Assistance Program
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Landmine Victims Assistance Program

Established in 1999, as a section of the Yemen National Mine Action Program (YNMAP), the Landmine Victims Assistance Program plays a critical role in helping to fulfill YEMAC’s purpose. The program involves a five-member medical team, which assists YEMAC by con-ducting interviews of and performing medical examinations upon landmine victims in all areas of Yemen.

The assessment process consists of three stages: medical survey, examination, and support. The goal of the process is to ultimately improve the quality of life of victims by providing medical treatment for the injuries they suffered as a result of landmines.
Medical treatment is a key component in the program’s goal of economic reintegration of victims. While the program has been very successful, both in treating victims and enabling them to reintegrate into their communities, a great deal remains to be accomplished.

Medical Survey Phase

The Landmine Victims Assistance Team travels to affected communities and performs medical assessments of victims. They choose their destinations based on information pro-vided by the Information System for Mine Action, which compiles data on the number of victims present in any given location. The hotel and all costs related to transportation, accommodation and medical examinations are covered by the program.

While medical examinations are conducted, the survivors receive appropriate treatment based on their needs for surgery (eyes, ears, or limbs) and physiotherapy. All the necessary arrangements, such as, appointments with various specialists in the hospital, are made by the Victims’ Assistance Teams in advance of the patient’s arrival. In cases in which patients require prosthetic devices, Handicap International takes that responsibility and provides the necessary devices. At the end of this process, a list is developed detailing the needs of the various patients for further medical support.

Medical Support Phase

At this stage, victims who have previously been identified as in need of specialized care are seen by specialists who assess individual needs. These might include hearing aids, corrective surgery, ophthalmologic procedures, or other medical equipment or procedures. Meanwhile, the Handicap International Prosthetic Center works in partnership with YEMAC to provide all forms of treatment related to prosthetic devices, including corrective surgery, physical therapy, and many other types of treatment. It is often necessary for recipients of prosthetics to make multiple trips to the center to complete their treatment. Upon completion of the medical support phase, a public ceremony is held, during which patients are presented with wheelchairs, hearing aids, prosthetics, and eyeglasses.

Photograph by Tim Grant.

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