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DRC's Intervention Saves Saeed's Life Following a Landmine Explosion

In 2023, it is estimated that approximately 17.7 million individuals require protection services. This encompasses individuals who are vulnerable to the dangers posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), such as unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Nuha Haider

Posted on 28 Dec 2023

Landmine incidents have been responsible for the highest numbers of ERW casualties since the start of 2018, at 1,286, accounting for 56 percent of the total, followed by 506 civilian UXO casualties and 492 IED casualties.

The presence of landmines and explosives poses a significant and immediate threat to the lives of civilians, with children being particularly at risk.

In Hodeidah city in western Yemen, 18-year-old Saeed* went out with his friends to collect plastic bottles to sell. When he returned home, there were five other members of his family in the room, include his mother and sister.

He began showing his father what he had collected, but their attention was caught by a plastic bottle that resembled a Pepsi can. Saeed couldn't open it, so he asked his father for help. His father started trying to open the bottle.

As they repeatedly attempted to open it, they heard a whistling sound followed by an explosion.

Unfortunately, Saeed's father died instantly, and Saeed sustained a brain injury, losing consciousness immediately. Everyone else in the room were also injured by the explosion's shrapnel.

They were all hospitalized to the hospital, where Saeed's family stayed for four days, receiving necessary treatment before being discharged.

Saeed’s health condition:

Saeed underwent a surgical procedure. His health condition was critical due to his brain injury, and the doctor indicated that his mobility might be affected, with a possibility of paralysis and loss of movement.

Nevertheless, the family was advised to continue with the necessary treatments and undergo physical therapy sessions.

After Saeed was discharged from the hospital and committed to treatment for two months, his health condition gradually improved, and he regained the ability to walk.

It was evident that the support provided by the DRC had a significant impact. He gradually regained his walking abilities, and his condition improved noticeably.

Saeed standing on his feet again is considered a miracle.

/  Saeed's elder sister, Hayat

News of the death of Saeed’s father:

During the initial days in the hospital, Saeed couldn't recall any of his family members, as he experienced temporary memory loss.

Over time, he began recognizing them, and upon his discharge, he constantly inquired about his father whom he dearly loved, reproaching that his father didn't visit or inquire about him.

Hayat always informed him that their father had obtained a job opportunity outside Al-Hodeidah and would receive updates about Saeed through her. She frequently called to check on him and reassure him.

Three months later, the doctor informed them that Saeed's health condition had stabilized, allowing them to break the news of his father's death to him. Hayat explained that their father had an accident while working outside Hodeidah, and after a few days, he passed away.

Saeed was overcome with intense grief, and the entire family began to cry.

Hayat remarked, "This day felt like the day my father passed away."

With the support of his family, Saeed gradually regained his emotional balance.

However, Saeed did not remember anything about the explosion that occurred, and he was shocked to discover that what he was carrying was a mine which caused his father death. It would not have seemed suspicious when he picked it up since he had previously received education about the danger and nature of mines.

Hayat says, “Next to our house there was an empty area of land, and there were some mines in it, which sometimes exploded on animals that passed by them, until the area was completely cleaned, but there remained insecurity as long as Saeed’s found this mine nearby.”

Saeed's injuries

Saeed, a landmine victim, had injuries on his shoulder and head caused by a splinter.

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DRC intervention:

With the support of SIDA funding, DRC was able to provide medical assistance to Saeed and his family, who were hospitalized as landmine victims.

Saeed, in particular, spent nearly seven days in the ICU due to the severity of his condition.

After his health improved, it was discovered that his lower limbs were affected by a significant head injury caused by shrapnel or fragments, rendering him unable to move or walk.

The doctors recommended specialized medication, with each dose costing 56,000 YR (approximately 105 dollars), as well as physical therapy. DRC stepped in and covered the costs for the prescribed medication and the required physical therapy until Saeed showed signs of improvement.

* Beneficiary name has been changed to protect identity.



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