Statement from ICRC's head of health: COVID-19 crisis underlines a chasm

19 May 2020

A statement from Esperanza Martinez, the head of health for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"This crisis underlines the chasm between health services in developed and developing countries. We talk about increasing ICU beds in one while a clinic in another has no running water. You can't prevent and control this disease without the basics, including water and essential supplies. Strengthening health systems in developing and conflict-affected countries must now become a global priority.

"We've also seen a worrying increase in attacks against health-care workers and facilities linked to COVID-19 –  more than 200 globally – right when communities need these services the most. Ensuring that health-care workers are safe and able to carry out their jobs is crucial for stemming the spread of this disease and caring for the people affected. This is an urgent call for collective action."


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