The safety of health facilities and staff must be sacrosanct: WHO chief

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Margaret Chan, Director General WHO. [UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré]

We are living in deeply troubled times, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan said in Geneva Monday.

She told the opening session of the World Health Assembly that these are times of financial insecurity, food insecurity, job insecurity, political insecurity, a changing climate, and a degraded environment that is asked to support more than it can bear.

According to Dr. Chan, these are times of armed conflict, hostile threats among nations, acts of terrorism and mass violence, and violence against women and children.

She said that insecurity and conflict mar several parts of the world, endangering the health of large populations.

The WHO chief strongly condemned assaults on health personnel and health care facilities in conflict situations, adding that conflict situations sharply increase the need for health care.

She stressed that the safety of facilities and staff must be sacrosanct.

Dr. Chan pointed out that in these troubled times, public health looks more and more like a refuge, a safe harbor of hope that allows, and inspires, all countries to work together for the good of humanity.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’04″

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