The Lancet

Protecting health care in armed conflict: action towards accountability

Saturday, April 14, 2018
Driven by a deplorable trend of unlawful attacks on health-care facilities and workers in armed conflicts throughout the world, on May 3, 2016, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted Resolution 2286 calling for an end to such attacks. The Secretary-General followed with recommendations of concrete measures for implementation. However, unlawful attacks on health care have continued or intensified in many conflicts, notably in Syria. We, academic institutions, civil society, and co-sponsoring Member States, convened a side event during the 72nd UN General Assembly to focus global attention on this issue and the imperative that Resolution 2286 be implemented.

Ukraine: Health Workers Fear for Their Safety

Saturday, August 30, 2014
Armed separatists in Ukraine are disrupting health-care services and threatening health professionals, forcing some medical staff to leave their jobs. Human rights organisations have called on both sides in the Ukrainian conflict to respect the neutrality of medical workers amid reports of medical staff being threatened as they do their work, medical equipment being stolen, and the treatment of civilian patients being compromised.

Aid Groups Warn of "Catastrophic" Health Crisis in CAR

Saturday, March 8, 2014
With clashes still continuing in the Central African Republic, aid groups say the health and humanitarian situation looks set to deteriorate even further. Andrew Green reports. There is no guarantee of safety for many thousands of people living in the Central African Republic (CAR), let alone access to health care or other basic services. Months of ongoing clashes between rival militias have left at least 2000 people dead and forced 700 000 others to flee their homes for safety.

Attacks on Medical Care in Syria

Friday, February 28, 2014
Attacks on Syria's medical community and infrastructure have devastated the health-care system. Government forces – and sometimes opposition groups – have deliberately targeted medical professionals, hospitals, ambulances, and supplies, preventing untold numbers of people from getting medical care and stopping medical professionals from providing services when they are critically needed.

Health Professionals Targeted in Ukraine Violence

Saturday, February 15, 2014
Ukrainian doctors and paramedics fearing for their lives have appealed to the international community for help amid claims they are being deliberately targeted by police during bloody clashes between riot police and anti-government protestors in Kiev. International rights monitoring groups as well as local non-governmental organisations have documented scores of attacks and injuries to members of the Red Cross, doctors, and volunteer health workers treating the wounded and injured over the past few weeks.

Protecting Health-Care Workers in the Firing Line

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Several medical associations and non-governmental organisations have launched an initiative to tackle violence against aid workers in conflict zones. Priya Shetty reports. “In Syria, having a medical kit visible on your car seat can be more dangerous than having a Kalashnikov”, says Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin, medical adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). “Health-care workers in conflict zones are literally being hunted down.”

Response to Syria's Health Crisis: Poor and Uncoordinated

Saturday, June 29, 2013
The health and humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria is being severely hampered by a lack of coordination and insufficient funding, say public health doctors Adam Coutts and Fouad M Fouad. The Syrian conflict is now a humanitarian and public health catastrophe for the country and the region. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres described the current situation as the greatest humanitarian disaster of the past two decades, requiring the largest-ever humanitarian appeal.

Health Professionals in Syria

Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, and WHO, with support from the Office of Foreign Disaster Control, trained 50 staff from Syrian and Jordanian ministries of health and other organisations working in and around Syria in May, 2013, in Jordan. A third of Syria’s 21 million people are now displaced from their homes. Most of the north of Syria is rebel-held territory and local administration is no longer directed by the national administration. Patients have flooded into several hospitals in neighbouring countries, where Islamic charities are subsidising care.

The Emerging Syrian Health Crisis

Monday, February 4, 2013
The conflict in Syria is an escalating humanitarian and public health catastrophe. Civilians are currently caught between two armed factions: the Syrian military loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the Free Syrian Army opposition. According to the UN, the 2-year long conflict has already resulted in an estimated 60000 civilian casualties and tens of thousands injured. As if the direct effects of military force on Syrians were not enough, there has also been a full-scale assault on the health infrastructure.

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