Researching the Impacts of Attacks on Healthcare

Project Status:

Ongoing Projects

Lead Faculty:

Rubenstein, Leonard

Multiple studies confirm a global consensus that attacks against healthcare in armed conflict, including access constraints, violence, and insecurity, represent a major threat to health, particularly for vulnerable groups and women. Gathering evidence about attacks has, to date, been crucial in raising awareness of the issue. Yet the consequences of attacks against healthcare in armed conflict remain a majory knowledge gap. According to the WHO, ‘while the consequences of such attacks are as yet largely undocumented, they are presumed to be significant – negatively affecting short-term health care delivery as well as the longer-term health and well-being of affected populations, health systems, the health workforce, and ultimately our global public health goals.’ Better understanding of these consequences could help promote the resilience of health programs, enable more effective measures to mitigate the impact of attacks at multiple levels, inform accountability mechanisms, and advance advocacy efforts aimed to prevent attacks, in addition to contributions toward the health and well-being of health workers and affected populations.

The project’s core objectives are as follows:

1. To generate new evidence about the impact of attacks on healthcare on health systems, humanitarian and health actors and their staff, affected communities, and patients.

2. To develop, test, and document methodological approaches to assess impact that can be applied in challenging environments.


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