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

June 24, 2014

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."

Explore further: PLoS Medicine editors highlight mismatch between global burden of ill-health and published research

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

Bright lighting encourages healthy food choices

May 26, 2016

Dining in dimly lit restaurants has been linked to eating slowly and ultimately eating less than in brighter restaurants, but does lighting also impact how healthfully we order?

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

0 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.