Health is a human right but during conflict, guaranteeing it can often be overlooked – especially to the most vulnerable.
On the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, EMERGENCY President Rossella Miccio travelled to the Doha Forum to join the panel, “Exploring Innovative Solutions to Address Critical Health Needs for Women in Conflict Setting.”
She spoke alongside H.E. Khalifa Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development; Lady Roslyn Morauta, Chair of the Global Fund Board; Dr Hanan Balkhy, Regional Director-Elect for the Mediterranean Region, WHO; and Ms Sultana Alfdhal, CEO at World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) at Qatar Foundation.
It was a pleasure to speak at #DohaForum2023 on the 75th anniversary of the #UDHR, alongside @KJ_AlKuwari, @HananBalkhy, Sultana Afdhal and Lady Roslyn Morauta.
The discussion focused on innovative ways to guarantee the right to healthcare for women in conflict settings. 1/5 pic.twitter.com/4dPlEtVHTE
— Rossella Miccio (@rossmiccio) December 10, 2023
During and after conflict, communicable diseases like HIV, malaria, cholera and tuberculosis pose a major threat to public health. Medical responses shift to traumatology and emergency relief, and damaged infrastructure struggles to deliver the care that people need.
Disproportionately, these diseases affect women and girls.
At the event, panelists discussed how to engage and empower local communities in both decision-making and healthcare delivery, as a way to ensure that women and girls’ specific needs are met and long-term sustainability is fostered.
“At EMERGENCY’s Anabah Maternity Centre, trained female Afghan staff support Afghan mothers throughout pregnancy, delivery and beyond,” said President Miccio.
Since 2003, the hospital has been helping mothers and training Afghan gynaecologists, midwives and nurses. While conflict in the Panjshir Valley changed over time, the facility has never closed its doors; even during the most intense fighting, women travelled to Anabah to give birth.
“The impact of this project has been profound. Local communities are our best allies to ensure that hospitals remain open even in the most difficult settings, and for us to work towards universal health access.”
Women’s health must be considered a priority, particularly in conflict and crisis settings.
EMERGENCY will continue to defend health as a human right – for all.