Pakistan: Report addresses violence against health care in Peshawar

Pakistan: Report addresses violence against health care in Peshawar

Article 15 February 2019 Pakistan

Addressing Violence Against Health Care in Peshawar, a research report compiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with Khyber Medical University (KMU), Peshawar, and Department of Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was released in December 2018.

The report highlights that at least half of the health-care providers in Peshawar who were interviewed by KMU’s research team have either experienced or witnessed violence in the last one year. Verbal abuse was more common than physical violence and patient attendants were found to be the perpetrators generally. According to the report, a gap in communication and unrealistic expectations were among the main triggers for such attacks.

Some of the recommendations put forward in the report were improving the existing legal framework, training health-care providers, public awareness campaigns, improving security systems, better health-care facilities, adopting strict regulations, increased coordination with law enforcement agencies and better community engagement. Speakers at the report’s launch particularly emphasized the need for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly to adopt specific legislation for the protection of health-care workers and facilities.

The ICRC has been working to address the issue of violence against medical personnel and facilities in Pakistan by promoting evidence-based initiatives in collaboration with government health departments, leading universities and public hospitals. The organization’s Health Care in Danger (HCiD) programme is a global initiative to improve access to health care and make its delivery safer in conflict and other emergencies.