Attacks

Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition Urges the World Health Organization to Reinforce Its Commitment to Protect Health Workers from Violence

Friday, January 30, 2015
In January, IntraHealth International submitted a statement on behalf of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition to the World Health Organization’s Executive Board Meeting in Geneva. Submitted as part of agenda item 8.2, poliomyelitis, the full text of the statement is below and also published by the WHO along with other statements by NGOs that are in official relations with the WHO. IntraHealth is a steering committee member of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.

Syria: Latest Report to Security Council Highlights Continued Atrocities and Breaches of International Humanitarian Law

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
As the brutal crisis in Syria enters into its fifth year, calls for the protection of civilians and improved humanitarian access continue to be ignored by all parties. In a briefing to the Security Council, delivered on behalf of Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos, UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief Kyung-wha Kang highlighted a litany of failings by all sides and renewed the humanitarian community’s call for a political end to the conflict. Ms. Kang also spoke of attacks against medical facilities and staff. “Hospitals and schools have not been spared,” she said. According to one medical organization, there were eight attacks on medical facilities in December alone. During the same period, seven medical personnel were killed, including three who were tortured to death and one who was executed.

Bombing Forces MSF Suspension in Sudan

Friday, January 23, 2015
International humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières has currently suspended its medical activities in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan after a hospital it runs was bombed this week. An MSF staff member and a patient suffered injuries from the attack on the hospital in Frandala village in South Kordofan, where government troops and rebel forces are fighting. MSF Head of Mission Marc Van der Mullen believes the hospital was deliberately targeted by the Sudanese Air Force to “terrorize the community.” The government, he argued, is fully aware of the hospital’s location and activities.

Top 10 Global Health Issues to Watch in 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015
The violence of 2014—including in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Nigeria—is not over. War, civil unrest, and acts of terrorism can hinder or even reverse progress in all aspects of global development, including health, education, and gender equality. In 2015, the international community will continue trying to resolve these conflicts and prevent hospitals and health workers from becoming targets of violence. Last year in a landmark resolution, the United Nations stepped up to lead the global effort to protect health workers and hold accountable those who perpetrate violence against them.

Documentation Vital to Ending Attacks on Health Care Workers

Thursday, January 15, 2015
2014 was a distressing year for health care workers in conflict areas around the world, as attacks on medical professionals and facilities were carried out in numerous countries. As these attacks continue, they must be appropriately documented in order to increase available information, raise awareness, and find appropriate solutions that facilitate accountability and ultimately prevent future violence.

WMA Welcomes Strongest Statement Yet on Violence against Health

Sunday, December 21, 2014
Commenting on the recent United Nations General Assembly resolution urging governments to act to ensure the safety of health workers, the World Medical Association President Dr. Xavier Deau welcomed the new UN Resolution on “Global health and foreign policy”. ‘I welcome the fact that we are ending the year with the strongest statement yet from the UN on the issue of attacks on health workers’, he said. ‘The past year has seen yet more deaths and injuries among health workers whose only job has been to care for patients in often extremely difficult circumstances’.

2014's Top Global Health Stories and What They Have to Do with Health Workers

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
As 2014 comes to an end, the international development community stands on the cusp of major new progress, particularly in global health and development—but the war and disease that marked this year could hinder that progress for decades to come. From polio vaccine workers in Pakistan to doctors and nurses struggling to contain Ebola in West Africa, health workers often put their lives on the line to provide care.

Dispatches: Taking Care of the Caregivers

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
In early December, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on “global health and foreign policy.” As the title suggests, it was a bit of a grab bag, covering issues such as vaccines, strengthening health systems, and Ebola. But the resolution also included the General Assembly’s strongest statement yet on the issue of attacks on health workers, facilities, and patients, and called on governments to act to ensure health workers and patients are safe and facilities protected from attack.

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.

Yemen: Civilian Toll of Fighting in Capital

Wednesday, November 19, 2014
The Houthi armed group and the Yemeni armed forces’ Sixth Regional Command appear to have committed violations of the laws of war during fighting in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, from September 17-21, 2014. The government should investigate alleged violations by both sides and appropriately punish those responsible. The fighting included two attacks on a hospital near the Sixth Regional Command headquarters and an attack by an unidentified force on another hospital. Hospitals are specially protected from attack under the laws of war and forces should avoid deploying near them.

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