The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has condemned attacks on nurses and midwives working in conflict zones and called for action from governments.
The 6th annual report Impunity Remains: Attacks on Health Care in 23 Countries in Conflict in 2018 found nearly 1,000 violations of international humanitarian laws and United Nations resolutions designed to protect health workers in conflict zones. The violations led to the deaths of 167 health workers and more than 700 injuries in 2018.
“This report details how nurses and other health workers have been brutally attacked with knives, clubs, firearms, shells, bombs and fire. They have been intimidated, kidnapped, sexually assaulted and raped. They have been murdered,” ICN CEO Howard Catton said.
While attacks caused immediate suffering and death, they also deprived populations of access to healthcare and interfered with outbreaks of disease and vaccination programs, he said.
“International leaders must now not just condemn these atrocities but take action to prevent them in the future and ensure health for all.”