War zone paediatrics in Rwanda

Pearn, John H. (1996) War zone paediatrics in Rwanda. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 32 4: 290-295. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.1996.tb02555.x


Author Pearn, John H.
Title War zone paediatrics in Rwanda
Journal name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1034-4810
1440-1754
Publication date 1996-08
Year available 1996
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1996.tb02555.x
Volume 32
Issue 4
Start page 290
End page 295
Total pages 6
Place of publication Melbourne
Publisher Blackwell Scientific
Language eng
Subject 111403 Paediatrics
Abstract Children are particularly vulnerable to injury and death in two types of 20th century conflicts: terrorist attack and civil war. This account describes some first-hand experiences of the aftermath of the Rwandan Civil War of 1994. Events leading to the conflict are described, eye witness accounts of child trauma during the war are recorded and the medical problems (currently ongoing) affecting children are described. Over a period of 3 months from April to June 1994, between half and one million Rwandese, a significant proportion of them women and children, were murdered in brutal hand-to-hand killing, dying from close-quarter gunshot and machete slaughter. Nearly half of the population became refugees in neighbouring countries or displaced persons in their own land. UNAMIR II, the United Nations Emergency Humanitarian Response, grew to some 7000 persons by May 1995. Medical aid was provided by emergency medical contingents from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, the latter through its Australian Medical Support Force, providing the definitive emergency medical infrastructure from August 1994. In the consequent post-war civil and social disruption, children suffered from burns, cholera and from motor vehicle trauma. Ongoing landmine blasts continue to affect children and adolescents especially. A new international humanitarian code to build a time-expiry device into landmines and other similar ordinance is urgently required as the post-conflict ongoing disasters in Rwanda, Afghanistan and Cambodia illustrate. Current problems affecting children include an increasing risk of HIV infection, trauma and the special humanitarian needs of thousands of orphans.
Keyword Military Medicine
Paediatrics
Rwanda
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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