One hundred days of war has put Ukraine’s health system under severe pressure
After 100 days of war, Ukraine’s health system is under severe pressure and the World Health Organization (WHO) has increased its presence, both in Ukraine and in those countries hosting displaced Ukrainians, to help meet the escalating health needs.
“This war has gone on for 100 days too many, shattering lives and communities, and imperilling the short- and long-term health of Ukraine’s people,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO is doing everything we can to support Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and deliver essential medical supplies and equipment. But the one medicine that Ukraine needs most is the one that WHO can’t deliver – peace. We call on the Russian Federation to end the war.”
The war has increased the need for health care while reducing the system’s ability to provide services, particularly in areas of active conflict. As of 2 June, there have been 269 verified attacks on health, killing at least 76 people and injuring 59.
“In 100 days of war, there have been over 260 verified attacks on health care in Ukraine. These attacks are not justifiable, they are never okay, and they must be investigated. No health professional should have to deliver health care on a knife edge, but this is just what nurses, doctors, ambulance drivers, the medical teams in Ukraine are doing,” said Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.
“I have been privileged to meet many health workers during two visits to Ukraine since the war began. They are keeping vital services and hope alive in the face of unbelievable sorrow and suffering, and we salute them,” he added.
Some health facilities have been destroyed, while others have been overwhelmed by people seeking care for trauma and injuries resulting directly from the war. WHO has established hubs in areas close to the conflict, such as Dnipro, to rapidly reach the areas of greatest need.
“WHO is committed to being in Ukraine both now and in the longer term – addressing immediate health challenges and supporting reconstruction of the heath system. We are redeploying teams throughout the country as access and security improves,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine. “Health-mental and physical- must be at the centre of Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction plans”.
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