Hospitals

Attacks on Health Facilities, Staff, Patients

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Attacks on medical facilities, health workers, and patients have occurred in at least 17 countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest since January 2014, Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said in a joint report issued today. The report was released at the annual meeting of health ministers from around the world in Geneva from May 18-26, 2015. The 22-page report, “Attacks on Health: Global Report,” highlights recent attacks in countries around the world.

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.

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.

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.

Syrian Doctors: Dr. Nour

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Dr. Nour, a general practitioner, works at a field hospital in Syria near the Turkish-Syrian border. She and the hospital are at constant risk of attack from aerial bombardment and car bombs. Sadly, she has first-hand experience with both. There have been five separate attacks on the field hospital, despite the many military targets in the area. In addition to dangers posed by the regime, Dr. Nour explains that she and her colleagues also worry about the self-declared Islamic State, which has threatened and kidnapped doctors.

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.

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.

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.

Medical Help Scarce in Besieged Syrian City

Monday, October 20, 2014
A doctor inside the besieged Syrian city of Kobani described desperate conditions on the ground, with hospitals being targeted by Islamic State militants and an acute lack of medical workers and supplies. Walat Omar, one of only a handful of doctors who have stayed in Kobani, said many civilians—mostly elderly—remain in the predominantly Kurdish city, which has been under a monthlong siege by the extremist group.

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