Health Workers

Medical Aid Unable to Enter Syrian Rebel-Held Aleppo: World Health Organization

Thursday, January 8, 2015
The World Health Organization has been unable to get a desperately needed medical aid convoy through to civilians in the rebel-held part of Aleppo despite a government promise last month to give it access. The non-governmental Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations, made up of Syrian doctors, says cholera, typhoid, scabies and tuberculosis are spreading among the 360,000 people in rebel-held Aleppo for lack of treatments or vaccines. The area is cut off on three sides by the Syrian army. All sides in Syria's three-year civil war have prevented medical supplies crossing front lines, fearing they could be used to help wounded enemy fighters.

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.

Landmark United Nations General Assembly Resolution Calls for the Protection of Health Workers from Violence

Monday, December 15, 2014
A resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly recognizes for the first time the severity of attacks on health workers, facilities, and patients in all circumstances, and demands respect by States for provisions of medical ethics and human rights law, as well as international humanitarian law, said the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition. The resolution, with 62 co-sponsors, urges States to take immediate steps to ensure health workers in all countries are protected from violence, whether in armed conflict or in times of peace.

Attacks on Health Workers Violate Everyone's Human Rights

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Attacks on health workers, facilities, and patients violate the Geneva Conventions and international human rights law. How can we protect the human rights of those who give impartial care, and of those who desperately need it? Last month I joined a gathering of the diplomatic, global health, and humanitarian communities to discuss United Nations leadership for protecting access to health care. The UN Global Health and Foreign Policy Group is proposing a resolution to the UN General Assembly focused on ensuring the safety of health workers in conflict and emergency situations.

Chicago Doctors Risk Lives in Underground Syrian War Zone Hospitals

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
While their mission is to save lives, doctors and other health workers in Syria are being targeted in unprecedented numbers, unlike any prior conflict. Many doctors have already fled the war-ravaged country, but a group of Chicago-area doctors are risking their own lives to cross battle lines and save lives.

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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