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December 7, 2019

Over one-third of healthcare workers thrashed in six months

National

December 7, 2019

ISLAMABAD: More than one-third of the healthcare providers participating in a survey conducted to ascertain the magnitude of violence against them reported having experienced some form of violence in the last six months, informs a study titled ‘Violence against Healthcare Workers: A Survey across 16 Cities of Pakistan.’

Compiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration with local research institutes and partners, the survey covered 8,579 healthcare workers in 16 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab, and Islamabad to determine the extent, causes and types of violence experienced by different levels of healthcare staff. The survey also examines existing policies to protect healthcare workers working across all levels and in different institutions.

Speaking at the launch ceremony of the study here on Friday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Sania Nishtar underlined the grave consequences of violence and its adverse effects on healthcare delivery. “It is important that we, as healthcare practitioners and as attendants work on changing behaviours towards violence against healthcare, adopt specific multi-disciplinary strategies to protect healthcare.”

Head of Delegation of ICRC Pakistan Dragana Kojic highlighted the objectives of the Health Care in Danger (HCiD) Initiative, a global initiative to improve access to healthcare and make its delivery safer in conflict and other emergencies.

“When a hospital is attacked or a healthcare worker is threatened, the result is that a mother and daughter in need of immediate care may not get it. It also means that a healthcare worker may be psychologically traumatized while in the line of duty,” she said.

The study highlights the need to train healthcare workers in skills of emergency communication to de-escalate violence.