Health Care in Danger
“Health Care in Danger Project”.. is an ICRC-led, Red Cross/ Red Crescent Movement-wide initiative that aims to
address the impact of violent acts and dangers that obstruct the delivery of health care, damage or destroy
facilities and vehicles, and/ or harm health-care workers and patients, in armed conflicts and other emergencies. The
project, which run from 2012 to 2015 came as a response to the call of the 31st International conference held in
Geneva, 2011. It aims at mobilizing experts to develop practical measures by decision-makers, humanitarian
organizations and health professionals that can be implemented in the field and report these recommendations to the
next International Conference in 2015.
The first event in the project was the London symposium with participation of ERC Secretary General. This was
followed by the international workshop held in Cairo (December 2012) with wide participation of National, regional
and international organizations working in the health sector. This workshop discussed several issues; safety and
security of health-care providers, safety and security of ambulances and their crews, training of health-care
On the international level, ERC participated in several consultative events held by ICRC, most importantly:
- Tehran Workshop on “Role of RC/RC National Societies in promoting safety and security of health services”. (February 2013)
- Pretoria Workshop on “Security of Health-care facilities”. (April 2014)
- ICRC – African Union joint meeting in Addis Ababa (October 2014)
ERC joined the “Movement Reference Group” which follow-up with the results and discuss the recommendations of the
several meetings and workshops in order to prepare for the 32nd International Conference.
In the same line, ERC and ICRC jointly organized a conference in Cairo on 18th December 2014 in cooperation with the
Ministry of Health, aiming at bringing together all the efforts done on the national level to ensure more security of
the health services with all its components.
The Participants, who represented various national stakeholders tackled the topic from different professional
perspectives; Ministry of Health and Egyptian Ambulance Organization presented the challenges faced by the ambulance
and their medical crews, the efforts done at the ER units and the coordination to communicate between the emergency
sector whether hospitals or ambulances. Academia and teaching hospitals were represented by Kasr Al-Eini and Suez
Canal University hospitals who highlighted the importance of training and development for healthcare providers. This
meaning was emphasized as well by the Vice chairman for training and development at the armed forces’ health service.
Representatives of the Ministry of Interior, Egyptian Medical Syndicate participated in the conference as well as
representative of the Arab league. The international perspective of the topic was comprehensively presented by ICRC
and MSF. A successful example of first aid provision at the field was highlighted by ERC through showing the
experience of the “Emergency Action Teams”; these specialized 94 teams of first aiders who serve in 23 governorates,
providing first aid since 2011 for more than 5300 casualties.
ERC and ICRC emphasized the importance of having a well-connected and coordinated health system that works according
to standards. The participants stressed on the necessity of having coordination mechanisms that allow for sharing of
information and integration between all actors as a common lessons learned.
The conference came up with specific recommendations regarding: inclusion of education and training on, as well as
dissemination of, the existing domestic legislation in the preventive and safety measures for protecting the
provision of healthcare, share challenges and best practices in order to develop stronger policies and practical
means of implementation, the importance of data to organize adequate responses to protecting the provision of, and
access to health care, incorporating issues related to the violence affecting health care in university curricula and
in the training for health-care professionals the correct use of the distinctive emblems under the Geneva Conventions
and their Additional Protocols and of other distinctive signs used by healthcare providers and raise awareness about
the serious consequences of emblem misuse on the protection of the health-care activities.
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