Somalia: Killing of health workers from rural clinic an appalling tragedy

Mogadishu (ICRC)—The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is deeply shocked by the killing of eight people in Gololey village in the Balcad district in Hirshabelle. Amongst those, seven are said to be health care workers working at a local health centre.

The ICRC strongly condemns such violence against staff health personnel.

Juerg Eglin, head of the ICRC Somalia delegation, said: “This is an appalling tragedy. Such attacks against health workers undermine the capacity to provide essential health care to the people at a time when they most urgently need it. Our thoughts are with the victims’ families.”

Health care facilities in Somalia are often hard-to-reach for much of the population. Only 15 percent of people living in rural areas are estimated to have access to medical care, a challenge often further complicated by outbreaks of violence or climate shocks such as floods.

The health personnel, medical facilities and transport such as ambulances must be respected and protected in all circumstances, and the work of medical personnel must be facilitated at all times.

Violence against health workers jeopardizes access to health services and much-needed assistance for the people in need. In situations of armed conflict, under international humanitarian law, people not taking part in the hostilities must always be spared.