IRRC No. 260

The International Committee of the Red Cross and Health

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The ICRC Medical Division, established in November 1977, works for the war wounded, for prisoners, for the civilian population and for the war disabled. Its essential purpose is to keep the victims alive, alleviate their suffering and prevent their sicknesses or wounds from ruining the rest of their lives.In his summary of ICRC activities during his term of office, (1976–1987) President Alexandre Hay said last May, “The medical sector, completely embryonic when I arrived, has developed considerably and has now achieved a highly praiseworthy quality and dimension. The ICRC and the victims of conflicts owe a great deal to the spirit of initiative, devotion and competence of its doctors”.The Review is particularly pleased to publish the following article by Dr. Remi Russbach, Chief Medical Officer of the ICRC, who traces the evolution of the Medical Division in the past ten years, emphasizing not only the progress achieved in the execution of its programmes but dealing as well with the problems which the ICRC has had to face in this domain.

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