Reference : V-P-PK-E-01394
Date : 09/2016
Country/Region : PAKISTAN
Caption : Karachi, Baldia town, Edhi emergency services. Mohammad Farooq is the head of the Baldia emergency service station. He who was targeted and wounded during his service.
Photographer : RAFIQUI, Asim
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : Noor for the ICRC
Description : "I’m stationed at one of the Edhi Emergency Services Stations. This is among the most dangerous and volatile areas in the city, and has been for years. Back in 2010 and 2011, the violence was so bad that even if I had had 500 ambulances, they would not have been enough.
I remember well the call I received about a badly beaten security guard. It is a mere 15-minute drive from here, but that day, dodging bullets and avoiding blocked alleys and streets, it took us over an hour and a half. Even then we were unable to get too close because gang members were firing at the ambulance. Eventually we managed to reach the victim, though he was practically dead from the beating and in terrible shape. As we turned the vehicle and tried to drive out of the area, a group of men starting hurling large glass bottles at us, one of which slammed into my face, tearing open my cheek. I was bleeding profusely, but managed to steer the ambulance to safety. But unfortunately by the time we negotiated all the difficulties created by roadblocks and got the patient to the emergency ward, it was too late. My injuries meant that I had to be immediately hospitalized. I received 18 stitches on my face and was in the hospital for about two weeks.
For us, who do this work, it isn’t a job, but a calling. There is no other way to explain it. Even though my family has discouraged me for years, advising me to leave this work, I can’t imagine doing anything else. We are here helping people, and when you see the look on their faces when you reach the site of an accident or the home of a patient, you realize the importance of this work. You cannot have that sense anywhere else."

ICRC website, photo gallery “Unsung Heroes of Pakistan: Healthcare Workers Taking Risks to Save Lives”, 07 JULY 2017
“Violence against healthcare professionals working in conflict areas is a reality that thousands of healthcare workers have to confront on a daily basis. Often the impacts of this violence spill over to the patients, families, and coworkers as well. In Karachi, Pakistan, these are the true stories of healthcare workers who've encountered this violence while risking their own lives to save the lives of others.
ICRC's Healthcare in Danger (HCiD) project aims at encouraging different stakeholders to improve the security and delivery of healthcare in armed conflict and other emergency situations.”
Original material : digital
Resolution : 6144x4912
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour