Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Dr. Louis Appia

Louis Appia was born in 1818 in Frankfurt-am-Main and graduated as a doctor in Heidelberg in 1843. He had a particular interest in improving surgery for victims of war.

In 1859, during one conflict, Appia mobilised resources and donations, to help the wounded and worked in field hospitals. Volunteering for such missions became a hallmark of his life.

Two years later, Appia became chairman of the Medical Society in Geneva then, in 1863, he was asked to work on a commission looking into Henry Dunant's ideas for improving the condition of wounded soldiers in battlefields. This commission became the ICRC.

In October 1863, Appia suggested that all volunteer rescuers in war zones should wear white armbands to identify them. General Dufour later suggested that a Red Cross should be emblazoned on the armbands.

Dr. Louis Appia

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