Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition Condemns Attacks on Polio Eradication Campaign Workers in Pakistan

12/19/2012
Safeguarding Health in Conflict

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition joins the World Health Organization in condemning recent attacks that have killed or wounded several polio eradication campaign workers in Pakistan. The murder of these health workers is a personal tragedy, and a major setback in the effort to eliminate polio myelitis from the region. 

Vaccination campaigns and public health services are critical to the health of communities and must be protected in times of conflict. The Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition supports the World Health Organization’s efforts to document attacks on these critical elements of the health system under the resolution adopted in May 2012.

We call on the government of Pakistan to increase protections for health workers and to increase accountability for their attackers. We also call on members of the international community to support the Pakistani government in these efforts and redouble their own efforts to protect health workers worldwide. 

For more information on the protection of health in conflict, visit http://www.safeguardinghealth.org.

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict coalition promotes respect for international humanitarian and human rights laws that relate to the safety and security of health facilities, workers, ambulances and patients during periods of armed conflict or civil violence. Members include the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Doctors for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Insecurity Insight, International Council of Nurses, International Health Protection Initiative, International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, IntraHealth International, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Karen Human Rights Group, Management Sciences for Health, Medact, Merlin, and Physicians for Human Rights.