IRRC No. 284

Health protection in armed conflicts

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Armed conflicts always have dire effects on the health of the civilian population. Apart from the harm — wounds, burns, asphyxia and radiation — caused directly by weapons of war, the people fall prey to disease because of the disruption of their normal living conditions.In most cases, it is the latter rather than the former which takes the greatest toll.Some basic health protection principles are therefore common to all development and disaster situations.

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