Home: Mission & Purpose

1.Introduction


The goal of the Rugiagli Initiative is the prevention and abatement of violence in conflicts through working directly with local (in-country) physicians. Together with a network of associates, we aim to propose and act on violence reduction strategies and subsequently render the work of meeting medical needs of communities affected by violent conflicts more effective.


It is the strong belief of the founding members of tRI that a truly healthy society is a society at peace. Even as the number of armed conflicts appears to be on a downward trend, data show that violence, including from conflicts, is still a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality worldwide. 


Violence in conflicts not only result in deaths, lasting disabilities and psychological trauma, but also in displacement and precarious living conditions with severe and long lasting public health consequences. Further, even when violence subsides, and conflicts are terminated, root causes tend to linger and high risks of recurrence remain for a significant amount of time. Once violence breaks out, it tends to be self-perpetuating, and whilst conflicts may be inevitable, every effort must therefore be made to prevent violence and, if it erupts, to limit its impact.


When violence erupts physicians are in the frontline to tackle its consequences and often aspire to reach beyond the practice of medicine to actively participate in the prevention or in the reduction of the violence that threatens or it is affecting their country or their community. 


Physicians have some characteristics that make them candidates to be actors in violence reduction/prevention activities. In general, they enjoy a unique position and status in communities and societies that can make them voices people are willing to listen to. Further, the medical profession bestows a strong sense of identity on its practitioners that can allow them to overcome the polarisations and divisions brought about by conflict within communities. 


The link between health and peace is largely recognised: no peace is possible without health and vice-versa no health is possible without peace. A number of programmes and activities have emerged from this link, with various degrees of success. tRI follows in this tradition and aims at creating a platform for like-minded physicians and future generations of physicians who aspire to developing a fresh approach to the abatement and prevention of violence in conflicts.