Reference : V-P-PK-E-01398
Date : 09/2016
Country/Region : PAKISTAN
Caption : Karachi, Jinnah postgraduate medical center. Emergency ward's director Dr Seemi Jamali was in charge the day the hospital was hit by two bombs in 2010.
Photographer : RAFIQUI, Asim
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : Noor for ICRC
Description : "I run one of the largest and busiest emergency wards in the city. Whenever anything happens in the city – riots, bomb attacks, gang fights or any other major act of violence that results in mass casualties – they are brought straight here. Maintaining security, and ensuring the safety of my staff and patients, is no easy task.
And this isn’t a theoretical concern. We have not forgotten the twin bomb attacks right here at the JPMC emergency room back in 2010. It is an experience I remember all too well. We had been on high alert on that particular day. Multiple religious processions were taking place. There were two bomb blasts in the city. The entire cream of the hospital’s medical staff was here that day, dealing with the casualties in the aftermath of those attacks, when a bomb exploded right outside the main entrance, killing 18 innocent bystanders instantly. A second, larger bomb was found later and defused. We were fortunate that none of our staff was hurt. I remember the flash, and the horrifyingly loud noise that followed. I remember the shock wave and being flung across the floor. There was dust and screaming everywhere, as people fled. I remember the voices of fellow doctors screaming at me “Run! Run! It’s a bomb!”, but I could not move, and had no idea where to run. It was an unforgettable moment.
We have increased security here considerably since, and we have a stronger paramilitary police presence near the hospital to help with the situation. But it still isn’t enough. We face violence, assaults, verbal abuse and even death threats all the time. But we try to be empathic towards people because we know they are dealing with terrible emotional trauma and despair, particularly here at the emergency room."


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 : 6064x4848
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour

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