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Hospitals, Health Care Workers In Conflict-Ridden Afghanistan Must Be Protected

The Guardian: Health care in Afghanistan: ‘doctors are threatened at gunpoint, even by civilians’
Neill Kling, surgeon with the International Committee of the Red Cross’ mobile surgical team in Afghanistan

“It’s dangerous to be a doctor in Afghanistan. … Doctors and nurses, ambulance drivers and paramedics, hospitals and health centers have all come under attack in Afghanistan. This disrupts the delivery of medical care when people need it most. Patients — both civilians and combatants — die because they are prevented from receiving needed care. The disruption can be so severe that the entire system collapses. … My message to community leaders, fighters, and even average citizens is clear. It is the same message that my colleagues are using in conflict zones across the world: if you don’t respect and protect the health care workers, you will soon find no one left to care for you. Wars must have limits, so respect the laws of war. Respect hospitals and the staff working in them. Let them do their jobs” (10/5).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.