Responding to Health Emergencies
Those with few resources and little support are extremely vulnerable at times of particular hardship – sometimes emergencies are caused by an ongoing problem that has reached crisis proportions, and sometimes because of a sudden disaster.
We always remember that emergencies are not identified by what is given high profile in the global media, but by the experience of those affected. Most of these crises receive little or no media coverage – and consequently few resources.
We also recognise that for the poor and marginalised, emergencies are not discreet events but one additional factor in an ongoing struggle.
When emergencies strike, we work with those affected to mobilise all possible resources for urgent response – and do this as an integrated contribution to their ongoing struggle for health justice.
Protecting health systems and health workers in times of conflict
Together with others, we have recently urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide needed leadership in addressing the threat to health, health systems and health worker retention posed by assaults on health personnel and facilities in times of conflict or civil disturbance. The latest reports stem from unrest in the Middle East, where doctors have been arrested and assaulted for complying with their ethical duty to provide care to patients in need, but they provide only a snapshot of a much wider problem of lack of protection of health functions during crises.
To find out more read this blog by Leonard Rubenstein and Katherine Footer from the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.