Deaths and injuries caused by land mines in Mozambique

Lancet. 1995 Sep 16;346(8977):721-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(95)91501-x.


Land mines in Mozambique are still causing death and injuries years after the initial dispute. Since 1980, 3400 people have had an amputation because of land mine injuries. However, there are no direct estimates of the number of deaths or casualties which are not treated in hospitals. In March, 1994, a medical team assembled by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) conducted household surveys in the province of Manica and in the sub-district of Metuchira, province of Sofala. The object was to assess the frequency and severity of injuries and mortality caused by land mines in the civilian population. We found ratios of 8.1 and 16.7 casualties per 1000 living people in Manica and Metuchira, respectively. The prevalence of amputees was 3.2 per 1000 in Manica, and 2.3 in Metuchira. These figures are several folds higher than suggested by hospital data. The case fatality rate was 48%. Most of the victims were civilians (68%) and were injured by antipersonnel mines (81%). 16% of victims were women, and 7% were under 15 years of age. Our results suggest that the impact of land mines is substantially higher than originally thought.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amputation, Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Blast Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Blast Injuries / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mozambique / epidemiology
  • Prevalence