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This content is taken from the University of Bergen's online course, Global Health, Conflict and Violence. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Welcome to this week’s topic - “Crisis at the district hospital”. This topic is based on a real life scenario, which explores both the micro (or interpersonal) and the macro (or big picture) problems that health workers may face in conflict zones. We will meet Dr Samoe, who leads an important district hospital in an area of armed conflict, between two different ethnicities. Similar wars and armed conflicts are taking place at the moment, elsewhere in the world – some of these receive media attention, while others do not. Armed conflict is not a problem that will disappear anytime soon, and it perfectly demonstrates the range of health- and peace actions that we can apply.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds This topic will help you understand the main challenges of working in these areas, from various different points of view. What should the priority be for Dr Samoe and the other health workers? What rights and legal protections exist under International Humanitarian Law? And finally, what ethical principles should humanitarian workers abide by in situations of violent conflict? We will be exploring the challenges faced by health workers by immersing ourselves in an animated retelling of Dr Samoe’s story. Through different steps of this MOOC, you will reflect on how you would respond in this situation, and we will give you some useful resources. These will help you to decide what is “right” and what is “practical”, for yourself.

Skip to 1 minute and 39 seconds Remember though, that this is based on a real-life situation of armed insurgency in south-east Asia. Since this conflict is ongoing, the characters presented here have been anonymized, but their plight is very real. This is sure to bring up lots of issues which we will revisit in other topics later on in this MOOC. But for know, welcome to week 1!

Introduction to the case

Imagine you are a frontline healthcare worker in a country ravaged by war…

This case is based on a real-life situation involving armed insurgency. We will use it to help you to:

  1. Identify the challenges faced by health workers during violent conflict, especially the tension between medical ethics, security priorities, and the need for impartiality.

  2. Advocate for International Humanitarian Law.

  3. Apply the Do No Harm framework to different conflict situations.

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Health, Conflict and Violence

University of Bergen