Doctors Should Be Helped To Do More To Help Children In Conflict

May 22, 1998

(Protecting children from armed conflict)

Doctors should do more to protect children in conflict, write Professor David Southall from North Staffordshire Hospital and Dr Kamran Abbasi, of the BMJ in this week's BMJ. They argue that doctors should lobby for the development of a UN force which goes beyond peacekeeping and is designed to protect children.

In 1996 there were 31 armed conflicts around the world and 24 of these were in countries with child (under five years) mortality rates of five per cent or more. Armed groups frequently and deliberately manipulate food supplies and target hospitals, health centres and health professionals. Over the past ten years, 90 per cent of casualties in armed conflicts have been civilians. Ten million children have been killed and four to five million seriously injured (usually without the use of analgesia, anaesthesia or surgical facilities to treat them). Twelve million children have been made homeless, more than one million orphaned and countless psychologically traumatised (during the Rwandan genocide, almost every girl aged over eight years was raped).

The authors suggest that doctors could develop long-term links with colleagues in disadvantaged countries and that study leave or early retirement would enable them to provide hands-on aid, education materials, medical equipment and moral support. They believe that these doctors should be supported by both employers and colleagues.

Contact:

Dr Kamran Abbasi, Editorial Registrar, BMJ, Tavistock Square, London

or

Professor David Southall, Professor of Paediatrics, Academic Department of Paediatrics, North Staffordshire Hospital Centre, Stoke on Trent
cai_uk@compuserve.com
-end-


BMJ

Related Conflict Articles from Brightsurf:

Aboriginal rock art, frontier conflict and a swastika
A hidden Murray River rockshelter speaks volumes about local Aboriginal and European settlement in the Riverland, with symbols of conflict -- including a swastika symbol -- discovered in Aboriginal rock art.

Study of civilians with conflict-related wounds helps improve the care in conflict zones
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have carried out the first randomized trial of civilians with acute conflict-related wounds at two hospitals in areas affected by armed conflict.

Researchers study the intricate link between climate and conflict
New research from the University of Notre Dame is shedding light on the unexpected effects climate change could have on regional instability and violent conflict.

Achieving optimal collaboration when goals conflict
New research suggests that, when two people must work together on a physical task despite conflicting goals, the amount of information available about each other's actions influences how quickly and optimally they learn to collaborate.

Do we trust artificial intelligence agents to mediate conflict? Not entirely
We may listen to facts from Siri or Alexa, or directions from Google Maps or Waze, but would we let a virtual agent enabled by artificial intelligence help mediate conflict among team members?

Tension around autonomy increases family conflict at end of life
Conflict within families can be stressful and confusing, and it can lead to feelings of sadness.

Coca and conflict: the factors fuelling Colombian deforestation
Deforestation in Colombia has been linked to armed conflict and forests' proximity to coca crops, the plant from which cocaine is derived.

Global burden of mental health in conflict settings
People living in countries that have experienced armed conflict are five times more likely to develop anxiety or depression, a University of Queensland research collaboration has found.

Climate change increases potential for conflict and violence
Images of extensive flooding or fire-ravaged communities help us see how climate change is accelerating the severity of natural disasters.

AI systems shed light on root cause of religious conflict
Artificial intelligence can help us to better understand the causes of religious violence and to potentially control it, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.

Read More: Conflict News and Conflict Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.