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War, Health, And Whatever Is Necessary

Children Are Especially Vulnerable To Death During WarContemplate for a moment the impact of war upon health… During World War I, roughly 5 percent of causalities were among civilians. In World War II, this figure rose to 50 percent. In the wars since 1980, fully 80 percent of deaths have been inflicted upon CIVILIANS. The British Medical Journal reported in 2002: “In many war zones, violent deaths are often only a tiny proportion of overall deaths. Populations face a deterioration of their already poor health status, and excess deaths from infectious diseases will usually outnumber deaths due to direct violence.” Highlighting a recent survey from eastern Congo, “Of an excess mortality of 2.5 million, only 350,000 were because of direct violence; most died from malnutrition and disease.” Clearly those of us in health leadership must make mitigation and resolution of military conflicts one of our highest priorities. For most, this is not our background by training. But our role demands that we undertake whatever is necessary to fulfill the worthy defense of life.

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