Call for Stories Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition

Health workers need to be safe to save lives. But in 23 countries in conflict around the world, health workers and the lifesaving services they provide are threatened by attacks on health. The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition seeks accounts of health workers—particularly nurses and midwives—for our upcoming report.

If you are a health worker and would like to share how you or your work has been affected by attacks, please contact us at info@safeguardinghealth.org or here.

We will work with you to schedule a phone, text, Skype, or email interview. If requested, we will maintain anonymity.

We think your story is important. Powerful stories can move people, and States, to take action to protect health workers and the care they provide.

What is an Attack on Health?

We use the World Health Organization's definition of an attack:

“any act of verbal or physical violence, threat of violence or other psychological violence, or obstruction that interferes with the availability, access, and delivery of curative and/or preventive health services.”

We focus on attacks related to conflict or civil unrest.

The photo to the left shows the remains of a hospital in Yemen after an attack. Photo courtesy of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict.

About Our Report

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition’s annual report documents attacks on health workers, facilities, and transport in conflict. Our last report showed there were at least 973 attacks on health in 23 countries in 2018, and at least 167 health workers died and 710 were injured as a result. Our report provides recommendations to end impunity for attacks on health and calls on parties to conflict, the UN Security Council, Member States, and the World Health Organization to take actions to protect health workers and the services they provide.

Our next report will be released in May 2020. It will be widely disseminated, including at the World Health Assembly and UN Security Council meetings, and will have a focus on nurses and midwives, in line with the WHO’s declaration of 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

About Us

The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition is a group of 40 organizations working to protect health workers and services threatened by war or civil unrest.

We raise awareness of attacks on health and press United Nations agencies to protect the security of health care. We monitor attacks, strengthen norms of respect for the right to health, and demand accountability for perpetrators.

Our Questions for You

  • Why did you decide to become a [nurse/midwife/physician/etc.]?
  • What kind of health services do you most often provide?
  • What’s it like to deliver health care here in your town/facility?
  • How have you been affected by attacks or conflict? (Have you, your coworkers, clients, or your facility been attacked? Has your facility ever had to shut down or close? Have you or your clients experienced road blocks or delays in getting to or from your facility?)
  • How have attacks affected your ability to provide quality health services?
  • Can you tell me about one patient you helped during or after an attack?
  • What changes do you think are needed to better protect health workers in conflict, so they are safe to do their jobs—save and improve lives?

All photos courtesy of IntraHealth International unless noted. IntraHealth shares the secretariat for the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition with the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. IntraHealth works in several countries in conflict experiencing attacks on health. The images above show health workers providing care in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Sudan.

Created By
Carol Bales


Photo by IntraHealth International