Assaults on health workers, facilities, and patients are all too common in countries across the MENA region. In Syria and Yemen, atrocities against health care continue unabated amidst public outrage. In Egypt, doctors are victims of police brutality and abuse.
While assaults on health care are unacceptable, what can we do to stop them from ever occurring again?
In Syria, Yemen, and Egypt medical practitioners find themselves under particular assault. Since the escalation of the conflict in Yemen in March 2015, more than 13 health workers have been killed and 23 injured. In addition, 102 health facilities have been partially or totally damaged. Since the start of the conflict in Syria, 373 attacks hit 265 medical facilities. Around 750 medical personnel have been killed. In July alone, there were 43 attacks on healthcare facilities in the country – more than one attack every day. In Egypt, doctors are being arbitrarily arrested and detained. Around 319 doctors were arrested between June 30 and October 6, 2013.
From the war-torn to the relatively stable, medics continue to be targeted with impunity. Despite attacks on medical personnel and health care facilities being against international law, accountability for violations of medical impartiality has yet to be seen.
Source : safeguarding health in conflict