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Paediatric Blast Injuries Partnership

Helping children injured in conflict

What is the Paediatric Blast Injuries Partnership?


Save the Children are proud to partner with Imperial College London and a host of medical and operational experts to support children who’ve been injured in conflict.

Central to this partnership is a practical field manual which Save the Children is distributing to first responders, doctors and surgeons and those providing aftercare for children in the most dangerous places in the world.

One in five children worldwide live in areas affected by conflict today.

Every day, in places like Syria and Yemen, healthcare professionals and frontline responders are working tirelessly to save the lives of children caught up and injured by conflict.

This manual is a comprehensive guide for local medical teams who are often forced to operate on and treat children in difficult circumstances with limited specialist training and resources in how to do so. It gives them the evidence-based practices and confidence to look after children right from the point of injury through to rehabilitation and longer-term mental health and psychosocial support.

Why is this manual needed?

Over 420 million children worldwide live in conflict zones – areas within 50km of where one or more conflict events took place in a given year. Of those, 142 million are living in high-intensity conflict-zones; that is, in conflict zones with more than 1,000 battle-related deaths in a year. Those living in areas of extreme conflict face risks of grave violations that endanger their lives and wellbeing. The number of children verified by the UN as killed or maimed has risen drastically in the last 10 years.

Doctors in Syria told us such a guide was needed and the Paediatric Blast Injury Partnership has been quick to respond. Dr Malik, of our partner Syria Relief, says ‘I’m a trained paediatrician but I never imagined in a million years that I would have to treat children who have suffered devastating blast injuries. Yet that became the new normal in Syria.

"This field manual will go some way to address the huge knowledge gap in treating children injured as a result of explosive weapons. Ultimately, I hope this simple tool will save lives.’

What does the manual do?

Children injured in war need to be treated differently from adults. In conflict zones, even trained medical staff such as surgeons, nurses and therapists can lack the training and expertise they need to treat children.

These experts need to make complex decisions in the horrors of war, like whether to amputate a child’s leg or how best to help a child with a life-changing injury re-integrate back into society. This field manual helps inform these decisions by providing a durable, easy-to-use, illustration-based guide that can be used worldwide.

What's Next?

The challenge children in conflict zones face is great – especially so from the threats of explosive weapons. However, the resilience of children and their desire to secure safer, better futures for themselves is a platform upon which states and parties to conflict can, and should, act. Save the Children believes that practical action on the ground and policy change at national and international levels can better protect children from harm. Specifically, and in line with our campaign to Stop the War on Children, we call on states to:

  • Uphold international norms and standard
  • Ensure perpetrators of violations against children are held to account
  • Support and resource practical action to protect children in conflict and enable their recovery.

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Got any questions?

If you have any questions or requests on our work on paediatric blast injuries, please feel free to contact us