Original Article

Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 46-54

First online:

Preventing violent conflict: A revised mandate for the public health professional?

  • Sean WhitakerAffiliated withRoyal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

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Abstract

Violent conflict disrupts livelihoods, healthcare systems, and food security, with dire public health consequences. My intention in this article is to conceptualise violent conflict as a public health hazard and delineate the strategies public health professionals might adopt to minimise that hazard. There is continued support among commentators for the role of the public health professional in addressing the underlying causes of conflict. Importantly, there has been a trend for foreign donors to design public health initiatives in ways that meet socio-political criteria deemed important to preventing conflict. The underlying causes of conflict can be mitigated by specific strategies employed by public health professionals and they should be key players in preventing the public health disaster that is violent conflict.

Keywords

violent conflict war public health medicine doctors peace