Attacks on health workers ‘unacceptable,’ UN chief declares after Nigeria killings

Health workers vaccinating children against polio in Nigeria. Photo: IRIN/Aminu Abubakar

11 February 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the killing in north-eastern Nigeria of three doctors from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, calling the attack and other recent incidents of violence against health workers “unacceptable.”

The three doctors were reportedly working at a government-run hospital in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state. They were killed over the weekend. On Friday, nine polio vaccination workers – all said to have been women – were shot dead in northern Nigeria. Similar attacks on health workers have taken place in Pakistan in recent months.

“Those killed were working selflessly to provide basic life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable people,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. “Such attacks severely limit health workers’ access to the populations who need them most and could have devastating effects in the fight to improve the health of people everywhere.

“These acts of outrageous violence towards health workers around the world are unacceptable,” the statement added.

The Secretary-General encouraged all countries to protect health workers so that they can continue to better the health of populations and save lives.


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN condemns deadly attacks on polio workers in Pakistan

Related Stories





In-depth Interviews