Guest blog by Dr Iseult Roche
Global action is needed to help protect humanirtarian health workers attempting to deliver aid in areas of conflict and crises.
World Humanitarian Day 2014 is set among some of the most difficult and dangerous range of humanitarian crises and conflicts. Although many people will automatically reflect in the plight of those naturally caught up in the problems, not everyone will consider the dangerous circumstances Humanitarian Health workers place themselves in, to provide aid and attempt to help those in desperate need.
Today, the World Health Organisation raised awareness of the dangers humanitarian health workers encounter, by saying health workers had been “threatened , shunned and stigmatized ,” during aid work in Ebola areas.
In other areas, health workers, clinics and hospitals had been attacked.
The director-general of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan has said : “Doctors, nurses and other health workers must be allowed to carry out their life-saving humanitarian work free of threat of violence and insecurity.”
While Dr Richard Brennan, humanitarian response department director at WHO, said: “Assaults on health workers and facilities seriously affect access to health care, depriving patients of treatment and interrupting measures to prevent and control contagious diseases.
The World seems to be getting smaller and increasing global travel, can result in global transmission of disease. The vitally important work humanitarian health workers carry out is important to everyone, and, not only those in immediate direct need of aid.