The World Medical Association (WMA) has denounced the burning down of a hospital in the Cameroonian town of Kumba, an area where separatists are fighting for independence.
Patients and medical staff were forced to flee from the hospital after armed men attacked the facility. Four people are reported to have died in the incident.
Local newspapers say that the armed men may have been angry that the hospital was treating government troops and disclosing the identities of armed fighters to the military.
In a statement, the WMA said local doctors had described the attack as ‘barbaric’ with Dr Tetani Ekwe, President of the Cameroon Medical Council, saying the national order of Cameroon doctors and all medical staff in Cameroon are “speechless”.
WMA President Dr Leonid Eidelman said the assault should be "utterly condemned".
“Whenever a hospital is attacked or, in this case, burnt down, it undermines doctors’ ability to care for their patients and it destroys a country’s health service,” he said.
“It is essential to ensure the safety and personal security of healthcare workers to enable the provision of the highest standard of care to patients. If healthcare workers are not safe, they might not be able to provide care, and patients will suffer,” he added.