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A trip to the market changed everything


Rehabilitation | Central African Republic | PUBLISHED ON July 13th 2021
Alima sits in her bed at the Bambari hospital following an accident with an explosive device (2021).

Alima sits in her bed at the Bambari hospital following an accident with an explosive device (2021). | © A. SERVANT / HI

After stepping on an explosive device, 16-year-old Alima undergoes rehabilitation sessions with HI specialists to facilitate her recovery.

It was a Sunday in May, and 16-year-old Alima was walking home after a normal visit to the market in Bambari, just 10km away. With each step she took, she was careful to avoid the dangers she had heard about. Following a period of intense conflict, active explosive devices hid silently amongst the rocks and dirt beneath her feet, threatening the lives of anyone unlucky enough to meet one.

Knowing the risks, Alima’s brother had taught her a safe route to the market through the grass. She followed his instructions and arrived safely, but on her way back, she forgot the way and veered off by mistake. It was then that she stepped on an explosive device.


HI accompanies her recovery

©A. SERVANT / HI. An HI physiotherapist coaches Alima through leg exercises from her bedside. (2021)Today, Alima is in the Bambari hospital, where she is visited daily by HI physiotherapists. The explosion severely damaged both of her legs, which has made it difficult for her to leave the bed or perform her regular daily activities.

Since I spend most of my time lying down or sitting after the accident, the HI physiotherapists come every day to do exercises on my legs and feet,” says Alima. “They keep my muscles working, so that when my wounds heal I can recover more quickly and be independent again.”

Thanks to these regular visits and the medical proper treatment, Alima will soon be able to leave her bed and return to living her life. HI teams will continue to accompany her both during the healing process and afterwards to ensure her mobility.

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