New Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition annual report documents incidents of violence and threats against health workers, facilities, and transport in 20 conflict-affected countries and territories.
Physician for Human Right’s director of policy, Susannah Sirkin, addressed the UN Security Council on July 30, 2019, demanding that the Secretary-General launch an immediate investigation into recent attacks on health care in Idlib and northwestern Syria in violation of protection agreements. From March 2011 through July 2019, PHR corroborated 578 attacks on at least 350 separate facilities and documented the killing of 890 medical personnel.
A tightening siege has pushed people to the verge of famine in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, residents and aid workers say. At least 1,200 children suffer from malnutrition, and 1,500 others are at risk.
The abduction, arrest, and killing of thousands of health care workers, as well as the destruction of and damage to hospitals and clinics, have profound impacts on the health and well-being of populations for years and even decades to come.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said up to 10 hospitals were reported to have been damaged in the previous 10 days. Damage to Sham hospital in Idlib alone cut off half a million people from access to health care.
Renewed bombing of hospitals in Syria’s six-year civil war by forces loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad has sparked strong condemnations by human rights groups and despair among local doctors, who accuse the international community of ignoring attacks on medical facilities.
A new digital instant messaging tool that relies on WhatsApp and developed by the WHO is designed to detect, verify, and log attacks on health facilities, health workers, and patients.The tool was piloted in Syria and is being deployed in Jordan and Pakistan.
New report from the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition shows the extent and intensity of violence against health workers globally remains alarmingly high and calls on the UN Security Council and countries to take concrete steps toward preventing attacks and ending impunity.
Coalition member Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) joins medical colleagues around the world in urging the Russian medical community to demand that its government ease the health care crisis in Syria. Health care continues to be used as a weapon of war: PHR has documented the deaths of 757 health workers and 382 attacks on medical facilities throughout the conflict.