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Côte d'Ivoire: "Matter of life and death", a song to safeguard health care

11-09-2012 News Release 12/182

Abidjan (ICRC) – On the occasion of World First Aid Day, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is launching a song entitled "Matter of life and death" with singers Kajeem, Onakamy and Mawa Traoré. The song's aim is to raise awareness among the public of the need to safeguard health care in the event of armed conflict and in other emergency situations.

"When armed conflict or other violence erupts, when the movement of ambulances is hampered, when violence and threats are used against the wounded and the sick, it's a matter of life and death," sings Kajeem in the song.

All over the world, armed conflict and other violence disrupt or hamper, sometimes completely, health care that is vital for the wounded and the sick. Fighters and civilians regularly succumb to their injuries even though they could have received the medical care necessary to their survival, and to which they have a right, before it was too late.

"Violent conduct, whether actual or threatened, against wounded or sick people or against medical facilities and personnel has become a major humanitarian challenge," said Dominique Liengme, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Abidjan. "In spite of that, it is often overlooked."

In 2011, the ICRC launched a major initiative with the aim of safeguarding health care so that it can be provided effectively and with complete impartiality in armed conflicts and other emergencies. The initiative, involving Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, members of the health-care community, governments, military forces and armed groups all over the world, aims to identify practical measures ensuring that the wounded and the sick receive suitable care in all circumstances.

The "Matter of life and death" song will be broadcast on radio and television in Côte d'Ivoire.

For further information, please contact:
Layal Horanieh, ICRC Abidjan, tel: +225 09 39 94 04



© Reuters / Thierry Gouegnon