The severity and frequency of attacks on health workers, facilities, and patients is increasingly globally, according to a report published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Safe Guarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) this month. The report details attacks on health workers and facilities in Nigeria, Pakistan, Bahrain, Turkey, Syria, the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.
The report is unique in its thematic rather than regional focus, and takes a broad look at the worst violations of the right to health in conflict zones. The survey includes attacks by non-state actors, such as the killing of 60 polio vaccinators and guards in Pakistan, as well as those perpetrated by governments, such as the arrest and for assisting protestors during the 2011 uprising.
Leonard Rubenstein, chair of the SHCC, explains:
When health workers and hospitals are attacked, people are prevented from receiving medical care, individuals are afraid to seek treatment, and trained professionals flee areas where they are urgently needed.
Read the full report here.