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Another COVID-19 Threat: Health Care Workers Under Attack

March 3, 2021

Joseph Amon, PhD, a professor and director of the Office of Global Health at the Dornsife School of Public Health, co-authored a March 3 Inter Press Service article about health care workers being under attack during the pandemic:

"In the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a certain hour of the evening, people in cities around the world opened their windows or stood on their rooftops and banged pots and rang bells. As the coronavirus spread and the number of deaths mounted, it was a moment for people distancing themselves from others to show solidarity and appreciation for the heroic work of health workers. But even as health workers were being celebrated by some, others attacked them.

In 400 incidents last year around the globe, health workers were attacked, clinics, hospitals and COVID-19 testing facilities were targeted, or public health officials were threatened.

Fear, misinformation and conspiracy theories flourished alongside frustration with the actions and inaction by governments to stem the pandemic and address the massive social and economic upheaval that accompanied it. At the same time, police and security forces arrested and assaulted health workers for protesting governments’ inadequate responses to the pandemic. Health workers were assaulted by people who feared they were spreading the disease, and health facilities treating patients with COVID-19 were targeted.

These incidents, and others, are documented in a newly released, interactive map developed by Insecurity Insight and the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, with technical support from MapAction. Documenting these incidents and understanding their causes is important so that governments and health facilities can prepare for and prevent such atrocities."

Read full article on the Inter Press Service website