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WHO’s Attack on Healthcare Initiative advocates for safeguarding healthcare; does not aim at reporting incidents

May 1st, 2021  •  Author:   World Health Organization  •  2 minute read
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Yangon, Myanmar, 1 May 2021 – The World Health Organization’s Attacks on Health Care initiative has been collecting evidence globally to advocate for safeguarding health care from attacks. This initiative does not aim at identifying perpetrators of such incidents.

The Attack on Health Care initiative was launched following the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.20 in 2012, which called on WHO to provide leadership at the global level for collecting information on attacks on health care.

According to WHO, “any verbal or physical act of violence, obstruction or threat that interferes with the availability, access and delivery of such services” is defined as an “attack on healthcare”.

As part of this initiative WHO conducts surveillance of “attacks on health care” in various settings, including humanitarian emergencies. The information collected by the global Surveillance System on Attack  (SSA)  is available in the dashboard here.

The SSA methodology requires a level of verification which is carried out by triangulating all available information of whether an incident took place or not. Based on the strength of this evidence, WHO allocates a “level of certainty” that is also published along with each incident.

Globally, WHO continues to advocate for ensuring establishment of safe working space for the delivery of healthcare services, and equitable, safe access to healthcare, free from violence, threat or fear.

For the last 73 years, since Myanmar became a party to WHO’s constitution on 1 July 1948, WHO has been has been providing policy, strategy, technical and operational support, across a range of technical areas related to public health, with the objective of improving health and well-being of the people of Myanmar.  WHO will continue to promote access to healthcare services and programmes to build greater resilience and sustainability over the long term.

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