Senseless killing of Japanese doctor condemned

The World Medical Association has condemned as “abhorrent” the killing of a Japanese doctor in Afghanistan.

Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, who had devoted his career to improving the lives of Afghans, was shot by gunmen in an attack in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan. He died of his injuries. His three security guards, his driver and a colleague were also killed in the attack.

Dr. Nakamura, who was 73, headed a Japanese charity working to improve irrigation in the country. He had spent almost 30 years in Afghanistan and in October this year he was awarded honorary citizenship from the Afghan government for his humanitarian work.

WMA President Dr. Miguel Jorge said: ‘I am appalled by this senseless attack on a man who has given his life to working for the betterment of humanity in Afghanistan. Attacks on healthcare personnel around the world are an outrage that must be stopped. Wherever they work, people delivering health care must be respected and protected. The world must speak up to condemn these atrocious acts.’

Dr. Nakamura had been in Afghanistan since 1986 helping to construct wells and irrigation in villages where many suffered from cholera and other diseases because of a lack of clean water. In 2003, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, widely regarded as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. And last month at the 72nd anniversary ceremony of the Japan Medical Association, of which he was a member, Dr. Nakamura was honoured with the Supreme Merit Award for his long term contribution to global health.