"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.
The report also highlights the urgent need to step up and implement measures for the protection of health care, particularly:
Reinforcing analysis of violence against health care at country level
Increasing the safety and preparedness of health care facilities
Promoting the respect for medical ethics
Ensuring the safety of health care transport
Addressing the humanitarian challenges
With its devastating direct consequences for the victims as well as a long-term impact on access to and delivery of health care for many, violence against health care is a critical humanitarian issue that must be addressed.
The Health Care in Danger (HCiD) project is a Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement initiative calling on states, armed carriers, the health care community, humanitarian actors, and other concerned parties to implement measures to improve the security and delivery of impartial and efficient health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. All of them have a role to play to protect health care.
To learn more about the Health Care in Danger project, visit: www.healthcareindanger.org.