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Practitioners discuss measures to enhance security of emergency health care

17-12-2012 News Release 12/246

Geneva/Cairo (ICRC/Egyptian Red Crescent) – Violence against health-care personnel in armed conflicts and other emergencies leaves millions of patients worldwide without care when they need it most. From 17 to 19 December, around 40 health-care practitioners are meeting in Cairo to recommend ways to improve security.

The workshop, co-organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Egyptian Red Crescent, was inaugurated today by Dr Nagwa Hussein Ahmed Khalel, Egypt's minister of insurance and social affairs and vice-president of the Egyptian Red Crescent. An inaugural address was given by Prof. Saad Zaghloul Al Achmawy assistant minister of health and housing.

"This forum will provide a unique opportunity for doctors, nurses, and the heads of ambulance services and emergency-care organizations to share best practice on how to enhance security for patients and health-care personnel," said Klaus Spreyermann, the head of the ICRC delegation in Cairo.

"Members of our emergency action teams are keen to share what they have learned from their experiences treating people injured in street clashes," said Prof. Mamdouh Gaber, the secretary-general of the Egyptian Red Crescent.

Among the participants, who come from a dozen countries, are staff from organizations within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, academics, and experts from the World Medical Association, the World Health Organization and Médecins sans Frontières.

In 2011, the ICRC launched its four-year "Health Care in Danger" project, which aims to address the impact of violent acts that obstruct the delivery of health care. The Cairo workshop is one of 10 taking place from 2012 to 2014 in which a total of around 400 experts from the health community, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, government ministries, armed forces, national and international NGOs, international organizations and academic circles will gather to find practical ways of better protecting people providing or receiving health care during armed conflict and other emergencies. The recommendations of workshop participants will help the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and States party to the Geneva Conventions, meeting in 2015 within the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to decide on measures to take to address this pressing issue of humanitarian concern.

For further information, please contact:
Mohammed Sultan, ICRC Cairo, tel: +20 100 505 33 10 or +20 225 281 540
Dr Nehal Hefny, Egyptian Red Crescent, tel: +20 226 703 979
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02


Photos

Cairo. Egypt. An exhibition tent was placed at the entry of the Health Care in Danger workshop, showing a field hospital damaged by armed carriers. The exhibition presents a situation based on a real story in order to raise awareness about the importance of the issue of safe access to health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. 

Cairo. Egypt. An exhibition tent was placed at the entry of the Health Care in Danger workshop, showing a field hospital damaged by armed carriers. The exhibition presents a situation based on a real story in order to raise awareness about the importance of the issue of safe access to health care in armed conflict and other emergencies.
© ICRC / O. Miltcheva / ICRC