Last week, the PGPD hosted Doctors without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and heard a powerful presentation from Dr Kathleen Thomas, who presented her harrowing account of being an MSF doctor at the Kunduz Trauma Centre in Afghanistan when it was attacked this time last year, killing 42 people, including 14 staff.
Dr Thomas highlighted the plight of doctors in war zones around the world and emphasised the need to continue to protect civilians in times of war. In Syria in 2015, MSF recorded a staggering 94 attacks on the hospitals it supported in the country. As of September 2016, MSF has recorded at least 21 of the medical structures it supports in Yemen and Syria have been bombed or shelled since the beginning of the year.
Dr Kathleen Thomas urged policy makers not to let the targeting of hospitals become a new global norm, but instead to champion international humanitarian law and protect civilians, including medical personnel.