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Call for papers - Attacks on healthcare

Guest Editor(s):

Karl Blanchet: Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Richard Sullivan: Centre for Conflict & Health Research, King’s College London, UK.

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: Ongoing


Conflict and Health is calling for submissions to our Collection on Attacks on healthcare. Attacks against healthcare in armed conflict, including violence, access constraints, and insecurity, represent a major threat to health. Gathering evidence about the attacks themselves has and continues to be crucial in raising awareness of this issue. This article collection will bring together research articles, reviews, short reports and case studies, that provide insight into the impact of attacks on healthcare.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Karl Blanchet: Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Professor Karl Blanchet is the Director of the Geneva Centre of Humanitarian Studies, and a Professor in Humanitarian Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva. His research focuses on health system resilience and health systems issues in global health, specifically in post-conflict and conflict-affected countries, leading to the development in 2022 of a MOOC on Operational Research for Humanitarians. Karl has developed a priority package of essential health services for countries such as Afghanistan and more generally for humanitarian crises. Karl has been a member of the Researching the Impact of Attacks on Healthcare (RIAH) project and was one of the coPI of the Lancet Series on Women’s and Children’s Health in Conflict Settings. He is also the Academic Director of InZone, a University of Geneva academic project offering university courses for refugee populations.

Richard Sullivan: Centre for Conflict & Health Research, King’s College London, UK.

Professor Richard Sullivan's research group studies health systems, particular NCD policy and the impact of conflict on health. He is Professor of Cancer and Global Health at King’s College London, and Director of the Institute of Cancer Policy (ICP) and co-Director of the Conflict and Health Research Group.  As well as holding a number of Visiting Chairs, Richard is an NCD advisor to the WHO, civil-military advisor to Save the Children, and a member of the National Cancer Grid of India His research focuses on global cancer policy and planning, and health systems strengthening, particularly conflict ecosystems. He is principle investigator on research programs ranging from automated radiotherapy planning for low resource settings to use of augmented/virtual reality for cancer surgery, through to political economy to build affordable, equitable cancer control plans. Richard has led five Lancet Oncology Commissions and worked on four others. He is currently co-leading Lancet Oncology commissions on the Future of Cancer Research in Europe and Cancer Care in Conflict. In conflict systems, his research teams have major programs in capacity building in conflict medicine across the Middle East and North Africa (r4hc-mena.org), as well as studies of the basic package of health services in Afghanistan, civil-military co-operation in health security, polio eradication and insecurity in Pakistan, and use of intelligence in high security disease outbreaks.  Professor Sullivan qualified in medicine and trained in surgery (urology), gaining his PhD from University College London. He was also clinical director of Cancer Research UK between 1999 and 2008. Following a period at the London School of Economics working on complex healthcare systems he moved to King’s College London in 2011.

About the collection

Conflict and Health invites you to submit to our new collection on attacks on healthcare.

Attacks against healthcare in armed conflict, including violence, access constraints, and insecurity, represent a major threat to health. In May 2016, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2286 demanding an end to impunity for those responsible for attacks on healthcare and calling for respect for international law on the part of all warring parties. Gathering evidence about the attacks themselves has and continues to be crucial in raising awareness of this issue. The impact of attacks against healthcare in armed conflict is an intractable and priority knowledge gap despite multiple initiatives that have improved data collection about these attacks. Better understanding could help promote the resilience of health programs, enable more effective mitigation measures, inform accountability mechanisms, and advance advocacy efforts.

This article collection will bring together research articles, reviews, short reports and case studies, that provide insight into the impact of attacks on healthcare.

It is hoped that having a series in Conflict and Health will allow for a more in-depth understanding of the impact of attacks on healthcare, a more nuanced analysis of the impact by context and type of incident and generate discussion globally and in various countries on the need for useful evidence on the issue for better programming and mitigation measures.





Image credit: Karl Blanchet

  1. Attacks on health care represent an area of growing international concern. Publicly available data are important in documenting attacks, and are often the only easily accessible data source. Data collection pr...

    Authors: Vanessa Parada, Larissa Fast, Carolyn Briody, Christina Wille and Rudi Coninx
    Citation: Conflict and Health 2023 17:3

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select Conflict and Health from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.