Health Delivery in Armed Conflict

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The delivery of health services in contemporary armed conflicts is becoming increasingly complex, as the nature of these conflicts is continually changing. While the response to specific health needs of vulnerable populations may be found in specialized literature, the practical challenges of access to victims and the response to major disruptions of health care systems in conflict are rarely discussed in global health arenas. This is an issue of particular relevance to the Harvard community, as well as the global humanitarian community of professionals, designing an effective humanitarian response in these environments.

In this episode of the Humanitarian Assistance Podcast, we’re taking you to Swissnex Boston for a special panel discussion that took place on 22 April, 2014.

The discussion is titled Health Delivery in Armed Conflict: Challenges, Dilemmas, and Prospects. It features a fantastic panel of experts:

  • Moderator: Professor Jennifer Leaning - Director, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights (Harvard School of Public Health);
  • Peter Maurer - President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
  • Susannah Sirkin - Deputy Director, Physicians for Human Rights;
  • Professor Michael VanRooyen - Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative

This was a live discussion, some of the less relevant parts of the evening have been edited out of the podcast. As you listen, you may hear the panelists referring to one or two videos that were screened during the event. Since this is an audio podcast, we’ve cut those videos out of this recording. However, we’re embedding them here:

Central African Republic: The challenges of treating war wounded

Wounded and sick without access to health care, damaged and looted medical facilities and health-care personnel experiencing or fearing attacks – this is the staggering reality in Central African Republic. For both local and international medical staff, working in areas affected by conflict remains a constant challenge.

South Sudan: Ensuring hospital security

In many countries around the world the security of health-care facilities remains a constant challenge. In this video medical staff working in South Sudan describe the measures they have put in place to protect staff and patients.

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