Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Global health

Violence against healthcare staff needs to be stemmed, report urges

The global health community needs to act to stem violent attacks against health workers in conflict hotspots, which seriously impede people in need from receiving life-saving health services, says report

Source: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy

Healthcare workers (pictured here, in a Tunisian refugee camp) can face violent attacks

The global health community needs to act to stem violent attacks against health workers in conflict hotspots, which seriously impede people in need from receiving life-saving health services, says a global report by rights advocacy groups.

“Targeted attacks on health undermine and sometimes destroy health systems and infrastructure, force health workers to flee areas where they are most needed, and prevent children from getting essential vaccinations, ” says a joint report by Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.

The report, launched during the 2015 World Health Assembly held in Geneva over 18–26 May 2015, cover attacks between January 2014 and April 2015 in 17 countries. It highlights armed group attacks on hospitals, clinics and health personnel in 41 incidents in Afghanistan and the deliberate killing of more than 45 health workers, primarily polio vaccinators, in Nigeria and Pakistan. 

In war-torn Syria since 2014, medical facilities in Aleppo have been hit with government barrel bombs, 194 medical personnel have been killed and 104 medical facilities attacked.

“Brave and courageous health care workers risk their lives to help people in these countries and some of them pay the ultimate sacrifice. We need to minimize this,” said Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organization.

Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the coalition, said: “All parties to a conflict have to respect the laws of war and protect health facilities and all civilian objects.” The destructive effects of the attacks on the delivery of care are huge, he added.

According to Bruce Aylward, the WHO’s senior official for emergency risk management and humanitarian response, 603 health care workers were killed and 958 injured in 32 countries in 2014.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068597

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00Buy now
  • Essentials of Economic Evaluation in Healthcare

    Essentials of Economic Evaluation in Healthcare

    An introduction to economic evaluation specific to healthcare, for those with little or no knowledge of economics. Covers cost effectiveness, cost utility and cost benefit analysis.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Healthcare Communication

    Healthcare Communication

    Healthcare Communication is an interactive and engaging guide for healthcare professionals. It supports you in establishing rewarding professional relationships.

    £33.00Buy now
  • International Research in Healthcare

    International Research in Healthcare

    Guidance for students or researchers undertaking a multi-centre research project in health services, medicines use and professional practice.

    £38.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.