Safeguarding Health in Conflict

Safeguarding Health in Conflict - The wounded and dead arrive at a Sana'a makeshift clinic, 2011 © COSMOS/Catalina Martin-Chic

Safeguarding Health in Conflict - The wounded and dead arrive at a Sana'a makeshift clinic, 2011 © COSMOS/Catalina Martin-Chic

The need to better protect the wounded and sick and those who care for them in emergencies is a priority for the ICRC and many other organizations and groups involved in global health issues.

Safeguarding Health in Conflict, a coalition that includes the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Physicians for Human Rights, has in recent months become a leading US advocate for greater protection of health in emergencies. 

I have followed the work of the coalition with great interest as it parallels our own Health care in Danger project, a four-year global initiative that aims to strenghten the protection for the sick and wounded in armed conflict and other emergencies through the adoption of measures designed to help ensure that they have safe access to health care.

Leonard Rubenstein, a senior scholar at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, is a co-founder of Safeguarding Health in Conflict. I spoke to him as he was getting ready to leave for the the 65th World Health Assembly, held this week in Geneva. The coalition has worked extensively with the World Health Organization whose member states will consider a provisional agenda item on that agency's response to meet the growing demands of health in humanitarian emergencies. 

Mr. Rubenstein speaks about the work of the coalition, how it complements our own efforts and how the group engages with the WHO and US policy makers.