Context and challenges
It is extremely difficult to protect a facility under attack from an angry mob. Most health facilities are designed to be open to the public and welcoming. This makes health facilities easy targets that are difficult to protect even with security measures in place. There are, however, a few measures that can be considered to pre-empt and prepare for mob attacks.
In the majority of cases, a mob that is seeking justice, will not be armed with formal weapons but will vent their anger by sheer number of people using improvised weapons. In war and conflict zones, however, there is a high likelihood that attackers will carry firearms and/or explosives.
Those managing health facilities should focus their efforts on:
• Prevention/protection: protecting health facilities from mob violence, for example, by implementing an acceptance strategy to reduce the likelihood of your facility and staff becoming targets, and increasing the security of your facility.
• Preparedness and response: putting in place measures to prepare the facility and staff in the event of an emergency, for example, emergency contacts, first aid kits and evacuation routes to support staff with responding to an incident of mob violence.
The following sections go into detail on actions that can be taken to prevent, prepare for and respond to a mob attack.