Attacks

Urgently Needed Medicines Reach Hospital in War-Torn Aden, Yemen

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Last week International Rescue Committee aid workers were able to get lifesaving drugs and medical supplies through to the only hospital still operating in Aden, the port city in southern Yemen that has been bombarded for more than a month by air strikes on Houthi rebel targets. The 22 May Hospital has been struggling to care for the growing influx of injured and sick patients from Aden and surrounding provinces since the city’s largest hospital, al-Jumhouriyah, was overrun by rebels during recent fighting and shut down.

Saudi Coalition Airstrikes and the Destruction of Hospitals

Thursday, May 7, 2015
Mere hours after it announced the end of its military campaign, a Saudi-led military coalition resumed aerial bombardment of military targets in Yemen. Since the Saudi-led military forces intervened in the Yemeni conflict, civilian casualties have dramatically increased. Moreover, constant bombings have destroyed hospitals and other civilian facilities, crippling Yemeni infrastructure and preventing health workers from providing medical care. Those health facilities that continue to function in Yemen are under increasing pressure.

Doctors Lament Increasing Rate of Insecurity of Health Workers

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Medical doctors in Ekiti State have decried the increasing rate of insecurity among health workers in the state. This is against the backdrop of the recent waves of kidnapping of doctors and health workers in the state. On Thursday, unknown gunmen abducted a former Chief Medical Director of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Dr. Patrick Adegun, and his wife, Kikelomo. The abduction is coming five days after a senior nurse with the Federal Medical Centre, Ido Ekiti, Mrs Margaret Aladeneka, was abducted while a yet-to-be identified man was killed during the operation.

Health Care in Conflict: A Doctor's Perspective

Friday, May 1, 2015
Providing or seeking health care in a conflict zone is a perilous undertaking. Every year health workers are kidnapped, threatened, tortured, and killed. Hospitals and clinics are targeted and bombed. Patients are shot. In Syria alone, 187 health facilities have been attacked since March 2011, and 615 health workers were killed—141 of them by torture and execution. One doctor has made health care in conflict the center of his work.

Eradicating Polio Requires Protecting Vaccinators

Monday, April 20, 2015
An increasingly alarming roadblock to eradicating polio is the rise in attacks on health care workers employed as vaccinators. In 2013-2014, 89 polio workers and their police escorts were killed in Pakistan and Nigeria. What’s most striking about this figure is that it exceeds the estimated number of actual deaths from polio; the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) estimated that between 15 and 30 people died from the disease in 2014.

Health Care in Danger Report: The Untold Suffering

Monday, April 20, 2015
“An airstrike destroys the paediatric and premature baby section of a hospital killing, among others, five babies and three mothers. A health-care centre occupied by security forces for days, preventing patients’ access to medical treatment. A clearly marked ambulance misused for an arrest operation. A doctor threatened not to treat wounded combatants of an armed group”. The data on these and other incidents were collected by the ICRC in 11 countries from January 2012 to December 2014 and published in a report, uncovering the untold suffering that violence against health care is causing to thousands.

Beyond Belief: Health Care as a Weapon

Friday, April 10, 2015
This week I took an online course offered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about health care responsibilities in times of conflict. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to consider the ethics of being a health worker in a war situation in today’s disturbing reality of what war is. There is one especially harrowing and dramatic video clip in the course: it shows the 2009 graduation ceremony of a group of Somali doctors—the first to graduate in many years. And as we look at the young doctors, proud in their robes, there is an explosion that cuts off the speaker and the picture—and then the scene is one of bodies everywhere.

Under the Gun: Practicing Medicine in Syria

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
It hurts me that my country needs doctors and I left. I was completing my medical residency at a public hospital when anti-government protests first broke out in Syria. By the end of 2011, government security forces were bringing detained members of the opposition to my hospital for treatment. Members of the security forces would insult and physically attack the medical staff, while also causing chaos by shooting their weapons into the air.

Yemen: ICRC Calls for Unimpeded Delivery of Medical Supplies as Heavy Conflict Persists

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday called for the urgent removal of obstacles to the delivery to Yemen of vital medical supplies needed to treat casualties from a week of deadly clashes and air strikes. A shipment of ICRC medical supplies sufficient to treat from 700 to 1,000 people was due to arrive by plane on Tuesday for distribution to hospitals across the country that are running low on the means to treat the war wounded. So far, efforts to negotiate the safe arrival of the plane have not been successful.

Yemen: Badly Needed Medical Supplies and Health Personnel Unable to Reach Conflict Affected Areas of Yemen

Tuesday, March 31, 2015
More medical supplies and trained health personnel are urgently needed in Yemen as the violence there escalates, but bringing in this essential support is currently impossible, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said. “MSF is currently unable to deploy additional emergency medical staff to Yemen, where they are badly needed,” said Dr Greg Elder, MSF Director of Operations. “We urgently need to find ways to get humanitarian relief and personnel inside the country.”

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