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Preventing Violence against Health: Data Collection Is Key

Friday, November 2, 2012
In his New York Times blog, Nicholas Kristof wrote about the horrific attack on Dr. Denis Mukwege, a doctor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who advocates for women’s health and does fistula repair. “Dr. Mukwege presumably was targeted because of a strong speech he gave at the United Nations last month denouncing mass rape in Congo and the impunity for it,” Kristof noted. This important blog depicts a sad incident in a much larger problem, which is widespread violence against health workers and health facilities under conditions of armed conflict.

Health Under Attack: The Need to Safeguard Health in Conflict

Monday, May 28, 2012
If you’ve been following international news for the past year, you are most likely aware of the recent developments and political movements in the Middle East. While the Arab Spring has opened the possibility for a new wave of democracy in several Middle Eastern countries, an unfortunate new wave of crime and violence toward health facilities, doctors, and patients has emerged. This issue did not arise from the Arab Spring, nor is it a new issue, but recent events have propelled this violence into the international spotlight.

Finally, a Major Step Forward in Protecting Health Workers and Facilities

Thursday, January 26, 2012
Despite firm standards rooted in the Geneva Conventions to protect health facilities, health workers, and the patients served during armed conflict, and to enable health professionals to act consistently with their ethical obligations, assaults on and interference with health functions are all too common in war. Aside from the human toll they take, these attacks often compromise the ability to deliver care to populations in great need, impede efforts to reconstruct health systems after war, and lead to the flight of health workers whose presence in a time of great social stress is essential.

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