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New e-learning for healthcare professionals working in armed conflict and emergency situations



A new e-learning module, specifically designed to help healthcare personnel understand the effects of violence on health care, their own rights and responsibilities and ethical dilemmas they may face in armed conflicts and other emergencies, was unveiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today.


"With this module, we aim to reach out to healthcare personnel across the globe," said Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin, medical adviser of the "Health Care in Danger" project. "Anyone connected to internet can use or download the module, which includes interviews with experts in the field, learning activities and other media."

"Health Care in Danger" is an ICRC-led project of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement aimed at improving the efficiency and delivery of impartial health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the International Council of Nurses, the World Medical Association and the International Committee on Military Medicine have joined the project to contribute their expertise and to promote its aims among their members.

 

"A number of pharmacists provide much-needed expertise in medicines in difficult situations of emergency or conflict. This e-learning module links with our federation’s work on ethics in this area and we welcome sharing its availability with our members," said Mr Luc Besançon, chief executive officer and general secretary of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

The module is intended for all professionals involved in the delivery of healthcare, whether civilian or military, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, drivers and hospital administrators.

For Dr David Benton, chief executive officer of the International Council of Nurses, "this is a timely addition to the extensive resources available, and sadly one that more and more nurses must be familiar with irrespective of whether they are working in high-risk environments, are advocates for change, or educators of next-generation practitioners."

"This e-learning module is an essential tool bringing clarity to all and will empower physicians worldwide," said Dr Xavier Deau, President of the World Medical Association. "It will enable them to understand their rights and responsibilities and ethical obligations in situations of emergency. The WMA warmly welcomes this ICRC initiative."


"The e-learning module will be an important tool not only for the health-care personnel of the military health services from all over the world who are confronted daily with these problems in high-risk conflict zones, but also to bring these problems to the attention of military and governmental authorities," said retired Major General Dr Roger Van Hoof, secretary-general of the International Committee of Military Medicine.

In addition to producing a number of written and audiovisual documents on the issue of violence against patients and healthcare workers, the ICRC is working with the partners to elaborate the ethical principles that must serve as a guide for healthcare personnel in conflict situations.

To access the e-learning module, visit www.healthcareindanger.org/elearning