Violence

Statement Delivered at World Health Assembly in Response to WHO's Global Vaccine Action Plan

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
At the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva this week,IntraHealth International delivered a statement on behalf IntraHealth as well as 34 other organizations who are affiliated with the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition. The statement was made in response to WHO's Global Vaccine Action Plan.

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.

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.

Strengthening International Commitment to Protect Doctors, Health Workers, and Hospitals Overseas

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Last December, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution affirming protection from violence for medical personnel, patients, and health facilities. The resolution reveals the extraordinary challenges of providing care in conflict zones. The Reporter talked with Widney Brown, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights, about the problem of violence against health workers and the importance of committing to medical neutrality.

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.

Healthcare and Conflict

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
In the last 4 years of conflict in Syria, there has been an estimated 610 deaths of healthcare professionals and 233 deliberate attacks on healthcare facilities. Despite being explicitly prohibited by international law, healthcare facilities are one of the first targets in conflict situations. Junko Takata and Claire Peet of Polygeia highlight the longterm effects of violence against health workers during conflict, and ways Polygeia and other organizations and individuals can get involved in protecting health workers.

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.

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