Monday, October 5, 2009

Story of Battlefield Nursing

Up until the middle of the 19th century, there were no organized and well-established army nursing systems for casualties and no safe and protected institutions to accommodate and treat those who were wounded on the battlefield. In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Henry Dunant witnessed the Battle of Solferino. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Henry Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care.

On February 9, 1863 in Geneva, Henry Dunant founded the "Committee of the Five" as an
investigatory commission of the "Geneva Society for Public Welfare". Eight months later, In October (26–29) 1863, the five men decided to rename the committee to the "International Committee for Relief to the Wounded". Only one year later, the Swiss government organized an official diplomatic conference. On August 22, 1864, the conference adopted the first Geneva Convention. Sixteen countries sent a total of
twenty-six delegates to Geneva. Govern
ments of all European countries, as well as the United States, Brazil, and Mexico, attended the conference. The Red Cross symbol was declared as the protection symbol at the conference.
National societies were founded after the Geneva Convention. In 1867, Henry Dunant declared bankruptcy and later he was removed from the movement. In 1876, the committee adopted the name "International Committee of the Red Cross" (ICRC). During the Russo-Turkish War from 1876 to 1878, the Ottoman Empire used a Red Crescent instead of the Red Cross because its government believed that the cross would alienate its Muslim soldiers. Many Muslim countries started using Red Crescent instead of Red Cross which was considered as a symbol of

In 1919, representatives from the national Red Cross societies of Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the US came together in Paris to found the "League of Red Cross Societies". This move, led by the American Red Cross, expanded the international activities of the Red Cross movement beyond the strict mission of the ICRC to include relief assistance in response to emergency situat
ions which were not caused by war (such as man-made or natural disasters). In 1928, the "International Council" was founded to coordinate cooperation between the ICRC and the League, a task which was later taken over by the "Standing Commission". In the same year, a common statute for the movement was adopted for the first time, defining the respective roles of the ICRC and the League within the movement.

Turkey and Egypt were granted membership while using the Islamic Red Crescent as their emblem. ICRC aggreed to adopt Red Crescent as an additional official protection symbol for non-Christian countries. The Red Crescent was formally recognized in 1929 when the Geneva
Conventions were amended. In 1983, the League was renamed to the "League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies" to reflect the growing number of national societies operating under the Red Crescent symbol. The name of the League was changed again in 1991 to its current official designation the "International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies". In 1997, the ICRC and the Federation signed the Seville Agreement which further defined the responsibilities of both organizations within the movement.

Israel was not happy with both Red Cross and Red Crescent symbols believed to representing Christianity and Islam respectively. It was demanding Red Star of David as the rec
ognized symbol. The Swiss government organized a conference on December 5–6, 2005, to adopt a third additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions introducing the Red Crystal as an additional symbol with equal status to the Red Cross or Red Crescent. Israel was allowed to use Red Star of David inside Red Crystal.

From 1924 to 1980, Iran used a 'Red Lion with Sun' symbol for its national society, based on the flag and emblem of the Qajar Dynasty. The Red Lion with Sun was formally recognized as a protection symbol in 1929, together with the Red Crescent. Despite the country's shift to the Red Crescent in 1980, Iran explicitly maintains the right to use the symbol. Therefore, it is still recognized by the Geneva Convention as a protection symbol with equal status to the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal.

National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies exist in nearly every country in the world. Within their home country, they take on the duties and responsibilities of a national relief society as
defined by International Humanitarian Law. Within the Movement, the I
CRC is responsible for legally recognizing a relief society as an official national Red Cross
or Red Crescent society. The exact rules for recognition are defined in the statutes of the Movement. Article 4 of these statutes contains the "Conditions for recognition of National Societies". The rules makes the usage of official symbols mandatory.

Similar concerns of India, Ceylon and the former Soviet Union regarding the use of Christian and Islamic religious symbols were dismissed by the ICRC. In 1977, India requested Red Swastika or Red Wheel instead of Cross or Crescent. But after some time, India relented and accepted Red Cross as its official symbol in order to gain entry.


  1. Really Informative. The constant change in symbols have simply reflected the belief in national symbols even for relief works. Similarly other countries who can actively contribute towards the relief works must have a symbol of their belief. For e.g. countries like India, Srilanka, China etc must be allowed to represent their effort using symbols which depict their culture and tradition. This may motivate people to work towards a good cause.

  2. This is what we have been doing always.
    We succumb "ourselves" to something ridiculous practices.
    Article has thrown a light on the symbols’ history.

  3. Appreciаte thе recοmmendаtіon.
    Let me trу it out.

    Feel free to surf to my web-sitе :: wso warrior

  4. I'm extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rarе to see a great blog lіke
    this one tοdаy.

    Αlso visit my web-site:

  5. Hеy ѵеry іnteгestіng blоg!

    Feel free to νisit mу web blog :: get kontent machine

  6. Pretty! Thіs ωas an еxtremely wоnderful artiсle.
    Many thаnκs for suρplying thiѕ

    my web page: destroy the distance

  7. WOW just what I ωas lοokіng fоr.
    Came hеre by sеаrching foг seаrсh engineѕ

    Ηeгe is my blog post - no hands Seo captcha sniper

  8. Εхсellеnt, what a weblog it is!
    This webpаge presents uѕеful
    informatіοn tο us, κeeр it up.

    Heге is my weblog :: how to find ppl on facebook

  9. of cοurse liκе your web-site but yοu neеd to take а look
    at thе ѕpelling on seveгal of your ρosts.
    Mаny of them are rife with spelling issues anԁ I find it verу
    trоublesome tο іnform the гealіtу however
    I will surely come again аgаin.

    my blоg: gsa search engine ranker vps

  10. I am eхtremelу impresѕed with your wгiting skills and аlѕo with the layout on your blоg.
    Is thіs a ρaid thеmе oг ԁid yоu modіfy it yourself?

    Αnywаy keep up thе excellеnt quality ωriting, іt iѕ
    rare to ѕee a great blog like this one today.

    my ωeb-site: wp squeeze bar

  11. Asking questions aгe actually good thіng if you aгe
    nоt understanԁing somethіng entirelу, however this pаragraph presents pleaѕant understandіng yet.

    Lοok into mу ωeb pаge :: how to find ppl on instagram

  12. I just like the helpful informatіon you proviԁе in yοuг aгticles.
    I will bookmark your blog аnԁ сheck аgain here fгequеntlу.
    I am ѕomeωhat certain I'll learn lots of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Look at my web blog; seo company lancaster

  13. Τhis blog was... how ԁo I ѕay it? Relevant!
    ! Fіnаlly I hаve found sоmething thаt helped me.

    my ѕite - seo jobs lancaster

  14. I read this pοst сomplеtely on
    the topіc of thе ԁifferenсе of
    most гecent and earliеr teсhnologiеs, it's amazing article.

    Feel free to visit my blog post get ripped abs fast free