Research needed on approaches to prevent attacks on health care during armed conflict

Deliberate attacks on patients, hospitals, and clinics during armed conflict are atrocious acts, state the PLOS Medicine editors writing in an editorial in this week's PLOS Medicine, and call for more research on the practical approaches to preventing such attacks, as well as studies that evaluate interventions to improve health care in conflict settings.

Adding further to the destruction and chaos of conflict, the past few years have brought mounting concern over the deliberate attacks on and health workers, perpetrated to cause maximum damage to the health of populations.

Despite several recent international initiatives and conferences, attacks on health care during have increased, according to the editors, citing information from a recent report from Human Rights Watch and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, which documents specific examples from 18 countries.

The editors say: "With such concerted activity attempting to tackle the egregious acts of attacks on , it is disappointing to note the distinct lack of progress in reducing the number of such attacks."

The editors support the need for better data collection on these attacks but argue: "While of course improved data collection on the number and nature of the attacks is important, practical action is also necessary to help improve the health outcomes of people terrorised, harmed, and displaced by such attacks."

They continue: "The PLOS Medicine editors welcome the research, debate, and discussion on how such practical measures can be implemented."

More information: The PLOS Medicine Editors (2014) Health Care in Danger: Deliberate Attacks on Health Care during Armed Conflict. PLOS Med 11(6): e1001668. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001668

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 1 hour ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

Asian-language smoking quitline successful nationwide

date 7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—An Asian-Language Smokers Quitline (ASQ) reaches Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese speakers nationwide, and most callers receive medication and counseling, according to a study published online ...

Many Americans trying to cut their salt intake: CDC

date 7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Worried about links between high daily salt intake, high blood pressure and stroke, half of American adults questioned in a recent poll say they've tried to cut back on sodium.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.