Violence

More Protection for Healthcare Needed

Friday, May 23, 2014
Experts are calling for increased protection to healthcare workers and patients in crisis situations in the face of growing attacks on health facilities, which challenge notions of their neutrality. “We need multiple and reinforcing means to protect health care in situations of violence, including the well-developed mechanisms of human rights monitoring, reporting and accountability,” Leonard Rubenstein, chair of Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, a group of humanitarian and human rights organizations, told IRIN from the World Health Assembly, which is being held from 19 to 24 May in Geneva.

Health Care under Attack: A Call for Action

Thursday, May 22, 2014
A technical briefing on healthcare workers under attack was held 21 May by WHO in occasion of the 67th World Health Assembly. Attacks on health care workers, patients and health facilities are increasing in many parts of the world. These attacks violate the basic right to health care and reflect a grave lack of respect for International Humanitarian Law, which provides special status and protection to health-care personnel. Violence against the health system limits access to medical services for those who need them most and can have grave public health consequences.

The Heroism of Polio Vaccine Workers in Pakistan

Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Just because time advances, it doesn’t mean conditions get better. It wasn’t all that long ago that polio had largely been eradicated from the world. But polio is back—in Nigeria, in Syria and, more significantly, in Pakistan. The story is complex, woven with political issues that seem to be unrelated to the reemergence of this horrible disease.

Violence Leaves Women, Girls, and Young People on the Edge in South Sudan

Monday, May 19, 2014
Two thirds of the health facilities in the areas affected by the conflict are reportedly closed or operating at limited capacity. In Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states, the state hospitals that usually provide emergency obstetric care services are not functional. Alternative facilities at the periphery have either been looted or destroyed and/or health staff members have fled due to insecurity.

Health Workers, Patients Under Attack

Friday, May 16, 2014
(Geneva, May 16, 2014) – Hundreds of attacks on health workers have occurred in dozens of countries around the world since 2012, Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition said in a joint report released today. The report, released in advance of a meeting on May 19 to 24, 2014, of health ministers from around the world, called on governments to do more to protect patients, health workers and facilities from attack in countries undergoing conflict and civil unrest. The 28-page report, “Under Attack: Violence against health workers, patients and facilities,” highlights recent attacks in countries around the world.

What Polio and Missing Schoolgirls Have in Common

Thursday, May 8, 2014
In an interview with the CBC this week, a World Health Organization official delicately blamed “the suspension of the vaccine in one area,” as if Pakistani health officials had committed some sort of careless lapse. This sort of airbrushing ignores the real cause, which is the systematic war the Taliban is waging against female health workers. Since July, 2012, at least 31 polio vaccination workers have been killed and many others have quit in fear of their and their families’ lives.

In Pakistan's Polio Epicenter, Workers Struggle against Threats and Suspicion

Friday, May 9, 2014
Health workers in Peshawar face militant attacks and resistance from some locals. Pakistan is one of three nations where the virus is spreading beyond its borders. On the second floor of a local dispensary in Peshawar, Dr. Sheda Hussain stands in front of a 50-person immunization team of female health workers and technicians. Flicking through three Power Point presentations, he guides them through the process they must follow during their visits to homes around the city.

Lack of Health Care Deadly for Myanmar's Rohingya

Friday, May 2, 2014
SITTWE, Myanmar — When the kicking stopped, Zura Begum suspected something was wrong with the twins she was supposed to deliver that month. When the pain started shooting through her body, all doubt was erased. She needed help, but had nowhere to turn. She was trapped with thousands of other Muslim Rohingya in a squalid, dusty camp in western Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The foreign aid workers she had relied on early in her pregnancy were gone — forced out by a distrustful government and extremist Buddhist mobs. Getting help outside the camps, in hospitals run by the Buddhist Rakhine majority, requires special permission that is harder than ever to obtain.

Kidnapped Anti-Polio Team Freed in FR Tank

Thursday, May 1, 2014
TANK: The kidnappers set free the six employees of the World Health Organisation who had been kidnapped from the Pang area on February 17, an official said on Wednesday. Assistant Political Agent, Frontier Region Tank, Nasir Khan, told reporters that the anti-polio team, including Dr Khandad, in-charge of the Union Council Siddiqullah, driver Kalim, three Levies personnel — Lance Naik Daulat Khan, Sepoy Amanullah and Sepoy Minhas — had left for the Pang area at 8 am to administer the anti-polio drops to children when they were kidnapped on February 17.

Attempted Kidnapping: Two Female Polio Workers Saved by Locals

Thursday, May 1, 2014
BANNU: Unidentified armed men attempted to kidnap two female polio workers in Howaid area of Bannu on Wednesday before letting them go with a warning. The workers were let go after the mediation of locals but with the warning that they would be killed if seen vaccinating children in the area again. An official of the Howaid police station, Fidaullah Wazir, said Taj Bibi and Gohar Taj complained to the police that they were immunising children in Mamakhel when three armed men approached them.

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