Health Care in Danger: practical steps can make access to health care more secure

04-12-2013 Feature

In December 2013, the ICRC launched a new series of powerful images based on real-life stories, illustrating the idea that it is possible to give the wounded and the sick timely access to health care, even in the midst of violence. ICRC President Peter Maurer recalls his experience in Afghanistan emphasizing the need to focus on practical steps that can improve access to health care in situations of armed conflict.


Health Care in Danger campaign images: 

 First-aiders must be able to respond in violent crises. This means giving them unhindered access to those in need of help, together with proper training and equipment.


In armed violence, health-care workers, facilities and transport must be respected and protected.  For all those involved in the fighting, this means ensuring that medical personnel are not threatened or harmed and that hospitals and ambulances are not attacked, damaged or misused.


Security concerns must be balanced by humanitarian considerations in all situations. This means giving ambulances and other medical vehicles priority at checkpoints.


Health-care workers must provide care impartially. For combatants and the authorities, this means allowing medical personnel to prioritize treatment solely on the basis of need and without discrimination.


If you would like to know more about how these images were created, take a look at this video from Getty: Behind the Scenes on the Red Cross Shoot