Medical care under fire

On 3 October 2015, U.S. airstrikes killed 42 people and destroyed the MSF trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Since then there have been further attacks on medical facilities run and supported by MSF in Syria and Yemen. Hospitals are being continually dragged onto the battlefield, and patients and their doctors and nurses are sacrificed in the process. It was the destruction of the Kunduz Trauma Centre, and the devastating assault on health facilities in Syria and Yemen that led to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 being passed in May 2016. The resolution strongly condemned attacks on medical facilities  and demanded that all parties to armed conflict comply fully with their obligations under international law. However, with one hand States sign a resolution to protect health facilities, while with the other they continue to be directly involved or complicit in the ongoing onslaught against health workers and patients in conflict zones. Every attack on a health facility the chasm widens between the rhetoric from governments about their respect for International Humanitarian Law, and the way they wage wars in reality. For more than 40 years MSF has negotiated the protection of its medical facilities in conflicts around the world. Our work in convincing warring parties to respect health facilities will continue.

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Patient story
"I can't sleep. All the doors here are broken now and the building next to mine was destroyed. The...
Updates
After five and a half years of intense conflict, the situation in Syria keeps deteriorating, with...
Updates
“The situation in east Aleppo is a tragedy,” says Umm Wassim, a midwife who has been delivering...
Updates
The only specialised paediatric hospital in besieged east Aleppo has come under attack for the...
Updates
On 17 November, the first day of the newly announced ceasefire in Yemen, after intense clashes 76...
Updates
MSF has been able to confirm that two hospitals in besieged east Aleppo were hit by airstrikes on...
Gallery
Doctors in east Aleppo are working in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and there are...
Crisis Update
Doctors in east Aleppo are working in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and there are...
Testimony
"The seriously injured or ill must be evacuated to safe areas for treatment. Medical supplies and...
Updates
MSF/ Nine-year-old Abdul Hadi lies on a bed in a hospital ward, watched over by his older brother,...
Testimony
"Many patients, especially those in far-away districts, have difficulty reaching us because many...
Month in Focus
Featured stories from October 2016: Afghanistan, Syria, Mediterranean, Haiti, Medical research,...
Testimony
"We’ve got used to the daily scenes following a mass bombing, when hospitals are so crowded with...
Updates
Airstrikes by Syrian and Russian forces have hit four hospitals in besieged east Aleppo in the past...
Video
If you want to know what it's like to be a surgeon in east Aleppo, watch Dr Abu Huthaifa’...
Updates
At least five ambulances hit by bombs in the past month; the Directorate of Health reports that...

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