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MPW newsletter 12-2016

Angelika Wilmen
MPW newsletter 12-2016
by Angelika Wilmen - Thursday, 15 December 2016, 3:38 PM

Dear MPW students and friends:

For the second time, the Medical Peace Work Award has been given to an individual in the health sector. Read more about  the Greek physician and founder of the Greek solidarity hospital “Metropolitan Community Clinic Helliniko” in Athens, Dr. Giorgos Vichas, in this newsletter.
Furthermore, we are excited to announce that our six online teaching cases in Medical Peace Work  have been finalized. They were presented at the Conference “Healthy planet – Better World” on December 10th in London, UK.

Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season,

Angelika Wilmen

1. New MPW online teaching cases
2. Greek physician awarded prize for medical peace work
3. Nuremberg Conference and MPW Future Workshop
4. Revision of the seven MPW online courses - feedback needed
5. Bad news from South Thailand
6. Course “Health Systems through Conflict and Recovery” in Pisa, April 2017

1. New MPW online teaching cases
MPW launched six audio-visual teaching cases to educate nurses, doctors, students and others on the health aspects of violence, war and armed conflict. They were presented at the MEDACT conference “Healthy Planet – Better World” on December 10th, 2016 in London.

These teaching cases are part of an educational series to help health professionals to engage in the identification and prevention of violence from micro level, such as domestic violence, refugee discrimination, and torture, to macro level, such as nuclear weapons, climate change, and war.

The six online cases are intended to be used as the basis for group work and class discussion in both, formal and non-formal educational settings for health professionals and their students.
They complement twelve case studies which depict challenging situations for health professionals in preventing and reducing violence – as well as promoting peace, sustainable development and human rights.  All the cases aim to show the role of doctors, nurses and others in building trust, understanding, mutually enriching structures, and cultures of peace.

Please access the new online cases at:

2. Greek physician awarded prize for medical peace work   
The Greek physician and founder of the Greek solidarity hospital “Metropolitan Community Clinic Helliniko” in Athens, Dr. Giorgos Vichas, has been awarded the International Medical Peace Award. The cardiologist established a hospital for the poor  in 2011, one of 40 solidarity hospitals in Greece. He is also an untiring critic of the “deadly austerity policies” of the so-called “three institutions” (formerly known as the “Troika”). The award was presented at the 5th International “Medicine and Conscience” Congress and comes with a prize of 3,000 Euros. The prize has been donated by the German affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and the European “Medical Peace Work” network. A second award was shared by Fikr Shalltoot, a nurse from Gaza and programme director of the NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians in Gaza, and the medical organisation Physicians for Human Rights Israel.

You can find more information here

3. „Medicine and conscience“ Conference and re-adoption of the MPW mission statement
The 5th International IPPNW Conference "Medicine and Conscience - What do people need?" came at the right time, 70 years after the beginning of the Nuremberg Medical Trials. 400 participants and 40 speakers discussed  the role of physicians and psychiatrists in National Socialism, prevailing ethical questions in medicine, and the role of health workers in creating a more peaceful society.
After the conference, the Medical Peace Work partners held a workshop to discuss the future of the programme, in which they re-adopted their mission statement: “Enabling health professionals to contribute to all levels of violence prevention and peace building”
This partnership of medical/health organizations and teaching institutions aims to create awareness among the public and policy makers about the role of the health sector in violence prevention and peace building. Furthermore, Medical Peace Work seeks to expand and strengthen the network of MPW practitioners, to keep the knowledge-base updated, and to disseminate it to those who are interested and can use it. Contact us:

4. Revision of the seven MPW online courses - feedback needed
Our seven online courses are currently undergoing a revision process. Lessons and figures will be updated and 200 new test questions added to our question pool. We now kindly ask all of you for your feedback on the lessons, e-cases, and test questions. Is there anything in the content, the configuration, or functions, which we should change?  Are you missing anything or have you discovered errors or problems?

Please access our feedback scheme here.

5. Bad news from South Thailand
Recent incidences in Southern Thailand indicate that health care facilities are increasingly used as instruments of conflict. On March 14, 2016, at Chao-I-Rong hospital in Narathiwat province, 30 troops from the opposition military group (RKK) seized the hospital and used it as the base for attacking the government military-base in front of the hospital. The attack lasted for 30 minutes. No hospital staff was injured, but one of the nurses was tied up with rope.  She was finally released and allowed to stay with the other staff in the Emergency Room. After this incident, the hospital was closed for one day for police investigation. Local civil society condemned the use of hospital for armed operations.

On August 23, 2016, a bomb went off near a hotel in downtown Pattani. Shortly afterwards, a ambulance of the health centre was stolen, driven to the main entrance of the hotel and left there. The bomb that had been placed inside it exploded and destroyed the lobby and the hotel, resulting in one death and 29 injured. This is the first case of an ambulance being used as a vehicle bomb.

These incidents are notable because, in the decades long conflict in Southern Thailand, health personnel and facilities have been by and large respected. Health personnel have worked hard to keep their impartiality, and have cooperated across conflict lines to provide health care to people on both sides. The use of health facilities for armed operations is prohibited by international humanitarian law.

6. “Health Systems through Conflict and Recovery” Course in Pisa, April 2017
In April 2017, the two-week intensive course "Health Systems through Crisis and Recovery" will take place for the 12th time. The course is run by the International Training Program for Conflict Management and will be held in Pisa, Italy, at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.
Millions of people do not have access to health care, because health systems in many countries are either non-existent or dramatically failing. Most of them live in areas chronically affected by violent conflict or slowly re-emerging from it. Other stress factors also affect vulnerable societies.
The course, held for the first time in 2005, has evolved substantially since then. It is actively kept progressive, by constantly updating its contents, introducing new study topics and materials, and inviting new experienced lecturers.

You can find additional info at