New e-learning module for health-care professionals

30 October 2014

Geneva (ICRC) – A new e-learning module, specifically designed to help health-care personnel understand the effects of violence on health care, their own rights and responsibilities and ethical dilemmas they may face in armed conflicts and other emergencies, was unveiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today.

 "With this module, we aim to reach out to health-care personnel across the globe," said Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin, medical adviser of the "Health Care in Danger" project. "Anyone connected to internet can use or download the module, which includes interviews with experts in the field, learning activities and other media."

 "Health Care in Danger" is an ICRC-led project of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aimed at improving the efficiency and delivery of impartial health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. The International Council of Nurses, the World Medical Association, the International Pharmaceutical Federation, and the International Committee on Military Medicine have joined the project to contribute their expertise and to promote its aims among their members.

 "This e-learning module is an essential tool bringing clarity to all and will empower physicians worldwide," said Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the World Medical Association. "It will enable them to understand their rights and responsibilities and ethical obligations in situations of emergency. The WMA warmly welcomes this ICRC initiative."

 The module is intended for all professionals involved in the delivery of health care, whether civilian or military, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, drivers and hospital administrators.

 "The e-learning module will be an important tool not only for the health-care personnel of the military health services from all over the world who are confronted daily with these problems in high-risk conflict zones, but also to bring these problems to the attention of military and governmental authorities," said retired Major General Dr Roger Van Hoof, secretary-general of the International Committee of Military Medicine.

 For Dr David Benton, chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses, "this is a timely addition to the extensive resources available, and sadly one that more and more nurses must be familiar with irrespective of whether they are working in high-risk environments, are advocates for change, or educators of next-generation practitioners."

 Mr Luc Besançon, chief executive officer and general secretary of the International Pharmaceutical Federation added: "A number of pharmacists provide much-needed expertise in medicines in difficult situations of emergency or conflict. This e-learning module links with our federation’s work on ethics in this area and we welcome sharing its availability with our members."

 In addition to producing a number of written and audiovisual documents on the issue of violence against patients and health-care workers, the ICRC is working with the partners to elaborate the ethical principles that must serve as a guide for health-care personnel in conflict situations.

Visit the e-learning module:


For further information, please contact:
Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 30 23 or +41 79 251 93 02
Lindsey Williamson, ICN, e-mail:
Nigel Duncan, WMA, tel : + 44 (0) 20 8997 3653
Paul Zabouri, e-mail :
Lin-Nam Wang, FIP, tel: +31 70 302 1987


The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the largest humanitarian network in the world. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering, protect life and health, and uphold human dignity especially during armed conflicts and other emergencies. It is present in every country and supported by millions of volunteers.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) is a federation of more than 130 national nurses associations representing the millions of nurses worldwide. Operated by nurses and leading nursing internationally, ICN works to ensure quality care for all and sound health policies globally.

The World Medical Association (WMA) is a global federation of national medical associations, representing the millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of physicians and patients, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical science, education, ethics and health care for all people.

The International Committee of Military Medicine (ICMM) is a neutral and impartial intergovernmental organization with 110 member States. The mission of the ICMM is to facilitate the exchange of scientific knowledge and practical experiences between all the health workers of the military health services all over the world, through the organization of world congresses, regional congresses, courses and workshops (law of armed conflict, ethics, etc.) and the publication of a scientific review.

The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) is the global federation of national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, and is in official relations with the World Health Organization. Through its 132 member organizations, it represents over three million practitioners and scientists around the world.