World's Physicians urge end to Sanctions against Ivory Coast

(09.04.2011) The World Medical Association has supported the President of Ivory Coast in calling on the European Union to take immediate steps to end its sanctions against the country to ensure medical supplies are available to the population.

At its Council meeting in Sydney, Australia, today the WMA said it was deeply concerned about reports of serious health impacts resulting from the economic sanctions.

Dr. Wonchat Subhachaturas, President of the WMA, said: ‘We are calling for urgent action to ensure the delivery of medical supplies to the Ivory Coast to protect the life and health of the population.

‘There is a health crisis in the Ivory Coast because of a lack of medical supplies and we urge the European Union to lift these sanctions without delay.'

The WMA reiterated its policy on embargoes on health, which declares that ‘all people have the right to the preservation of health and that the Geneva Convention requires the free passage of medical supplies intended for civilians'.