NPR

Medical Workers in Conflict Zones Have Never Faced Greater Risks

Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Although health care workers have been caught in the crossfire for decades, they're now being directly targeted. And threats are at an all-time high. Since 2012, there have been 2,300 incidents of violence or threats of violence reported to the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), though the IFRC suspects that many more go unreported. This week, the United Nations passed a resolution that recognizes this danger and strengthens existing international laws that protect health care workers in conflict zones.

Helping Children, Despite Death Threats: A Vaccinator Explains

Sunday, August 3, 2014
Being a front-line health worker usually isn't controversial. But in Pakistan, it can get you killed. The Taliban went on an offensive against polio immunization in 2012 after it became clear that the CIA used a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign to gather intelligence on Osama bin Laden. Since then, more than 60 polio workers have been gunned down.

Shifting Resources to Front Lines Could Protect Polio Workers

Tuesday, October 8, 2013
A bomb exploded Monday near a group of polio vaccinators in Peshawar, killing at least two policemen, The New York Times reported. Since December, at least 20 polio workers have been killed in similar assaults. Such violence has threatened the global effort to stamp out the disease in the three countries where the virus is still endemic — Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

As Doctors Leave Syria, Public Health Crisis Looms

Saturday, June 29, 2013
The death toll in Syria’s ongoing civil war may now be as high as 100,000. As the violence mounts, another emergency is looming: a public health crisis across the region. That’s the conclusion of a new study published by the British medical journal The Lancet. Syria’s health care system is near collapse. Outbreaks of disease are on the rise in the country, and refugees sheltered beyond the border are also at great risk.

How Doctors Would Know If Syrians Were Hit With Nerve Gas

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
President Obama affirmed Tuesday that there’s evidence Syrians have been attacked with chemical weapons—in particular, nerve gas. But that's not the same as proof positive. “We don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them,” Obama said. “We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened.”