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Attacks on Health Care Monthly News Brief

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At least 424 attacks on health care occurred in the DRC between January and November 2019. Numbers of reported incidents increased following the Ebola outbreak in August 2018. While the majority of attacks on health care in 2019 have occurred in the context of the Ebola response and in Ebola-affected areas, many occur in the context of the on-going violence and insecurity that affect civilian populations in the DRC. The incidents reported are not a complete nor a representative list of all events that affect the provision of health care and have not been independently verified.

This monthly digest is produced by the Attacks on Health Care project, published by Insecurity Insight and funded and supported by the UK government through the RIAH project at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at Manchester University, UK.

Highlighted incidents in the Monthly Brief include:

  • The DRC: In Ituri and North Kivu provinces, attacks by armed groups continued to pose a major threat to ending the Ebola outbreak. Health workers remained unable to reach vulnerable communities, resulting in a substantial increase in new Ebola cases. Sources: ReutersThe GuardianVOA I and VOA II
  • The DRC 15 December 2019: In Butembo city, North Kivu province, gunmen from the Mai-Mai Kyandenga attacked FARDC soldiers guarding the Ebola Response base of the WHO. Source: Kivu Security Tracker
  • Nigeria 12 December 2019: On Damaturu road, Maiduguri, Borno State, two national Red Cross staff members were kidnapped by Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) members who had set up an illegal checkpoint. Their whereabouts are currently unknown. Six off-duty soldiers and eight civilians were also kidnapped. The group reportedly claimed responsibility for the incident on social media. Source: AWSD
  • Pakistan: 18 December 2019: Around Lal Qila town, Lower Dir district, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, two motorcycle-borne perpetrators killed at least two policemen in an attack on a polio vaccination team. The vaccinators were unhurt. Source: France 24
  • Pakistan: 11 December 2019: In Lahore city, Punjab province, over 200 lawyers armed with sticks stormed the Punjab Institute of Cardiology amid a dispute with doctors. They ransacked wards, beat up staff and smashed equipment. As panic spread, doctors and paramedics hid, leaving patients unattended, three of whom died as a result. To disperse the perpetrators, riot police fired tear gas and arrested 20. Source: BBC
  • Syria 17 December 2019: In Al Ghadfah village, Maarrat Al-Nu’man district, Idlib governorate, a barrel bomb hit Myassar Al Hamdou Hospital, partially destroying the building. No casualties were reported as the facility was evacuated. Source: SNHR and Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations

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