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 Medical Mission, Something More Than a Platform: A Necessity for Colombia and the World

Ministerio de Salud y Protección Social > English > Medical Mission, Something More Than a Platform: A Necessity for Colombia and the World

Tomorrow, International Seminar aimed at sharing experiences that will bolster the protection of the Medical Mission in the country.

Press release Press Release No. 563, 2022

Bogotá D.C, November 22, 2022. Few are aware of the scope of the work of the Medical Mission in a country like Colombia. There are even fewer who are able to associate their work with that of guaranteeing care for victims in social conflicts or natural disaster situations. And the figure is minute, when it comes to explaining the circumstances that make the Medical Mission a military objective.


26 years ago, recording began of the attacks to the Medical Mission in Colombia, a situation that over time has received greater attention and thoroughness in the documenting and classification of events. When reviewing the dynamics of these records, it is clear that the 2020-2021 biennium has presented the most incidents against the work of the Mission.


The head of the Ministry's Office of Emergencies and Disasters, Benjamín Moreno, describes that 2021 was the year with the most events against the Medical Mission, with 553, followed by 2020, with 325 cases.


"This shows us that in those years the Medical Mission was notably affected. This is the highest figure, historically, which represents a very serious damage to the medical practice in the country and, of course, to the violation of fundamental rights such as life, health and integrity of patients, injured or sick in areas of high natural and anthropic risk", reflected Dr. Moreno, noting that between January and November 7 of this year, 271 cases have been registered.


Similarly, Moreno stated that, in the period analyzed for the current term, there is a worrying increase, in relation to the reports for the same period last year, showing a difference of more than 40 cases.


This increase could be due to three situations in particular:


First, to the dynamics of the violence provoked by armed actors in their areas of influence.


Second, the increase in the culture of reporting, specifically of the subnetworks at the level of events that have occurred in Cundinamarca in the provision of health services with mobile units.


And third, an increase in the notification of events in territories affected by waves of violence such as Antioquia, particularly in the provision of health services," Moreno explained.


He invited society to take a very close look at the history of events against the Medical Mission in the country.


Moreno also specified that during the period between January and November of this year, Antioquia, Huila, Norte de Santander, Cundinamarca and Valle del Cauca were the five provinces that lead the ranking with the most damages against the Medical Mission.


"The events with the greatest impact are threats, personal injuries, disrespect for medical priorities, attacks against medical means of transport and obstruction of the care of the wounded and sick," he specified and highlighted that these incidents account for 86% of the events registered.


It is stated that violence against the wounded and sick, health personnel, structures and medical transport is a humanitarian problem faced by the countries of the region. Therefore, ensuring their respect and protection is a priority to guarantee access to health care and the contribution of the health sector to total peace.


Video: Invitation to the seminar on Medical Mission.


The Ministry of Health and Social Protection, with the support of the Colombian Red Cross, the Norwegian Red Cross, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will hold the II Seminar "Humanitarian Consequences of Disrespect and Protection of Health Services," which will be held in Bogotá, to demonstrate that the Medical Mission exists and guarantees the fundamental rights to health and life in any context.


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