The regional director of the World Health Organization (WHO) for Europe, Hans Henri Kluge, stated that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, a total of 226 attacks against the country’s health care have been confirmed, leaving at least 75 dead and 59 wounded.
As detailed by Kluge in a statement, this means that since the beginning of the Russian offensive against Ukraine at the end of February, an average of almost three attacks per day have been registered.
In addition, two thirds of all attacks on health centers so far this year confirmed by the WHO have occurred in Ukraine in the context of the war. “These attacks are not justifiable, they are never okay and should be investigated,” she said.RELATED
“It is an insult to the dedication and integrity of health workers everywhere that they continue to go unpunished. No health professional should have to provide medical care on a knife edge,” he lamented.
In this sense, he has valued the work of Ukraine’s health professionals, whom he has praised for their “courage”, “courage” and “dedication”. “You have done the impossible: you stand firm and save lives,” she remarked.
Kluge has traveled to Ukraine for the third time so far this year and, as part of his visit, he has met some of the country’s health workers and has seen first-hand some of their stories and the professional challenges they face. they face each other.
He has also met the Minister of Health, Viktor Liashko, in the Chernigov region, where he has visited “several hospitals and health facilities” and has spoken with professionals and patients.
But beyond this, the regional director of the WHO has confirmed that his visit also has the objective of learning about the “additional measures” that are required on the ground in a country where one in three chronic disease patients struggles to access medicines and where the polio and measles vaccination rate remains below the recommended 95 percent coverage.
“From what I saw yesterday while visiting Chernigov, mental health services need to be further expanded to reach communities. According to the WHO, 1 in 5 people in conflict zones are likely to develop serious mental health problems. More than 16,000 people in Ukraine with moderate to severe mental health problems face shortages of essential medicines.”
Likewise, sexual violence is another of the most delicate aspects in Ukraine, since, according to the United Nations, this is “a serious threat to the majority of women and girls in conflict zones.” On this matter, Kluge has acknowledged feeling “deeply concerned.”
In this line, the representative of the WHO has pointed out that the organization seeks to mitigate a possible outbreak of cholera in the areas occupied by Russia due to the damages that the water and sanitation infrastructures have suffered.
“Peace is a precondition for health. All our efforts to rebuild and reform could fail without peace. I would like to reiterate the call of the United Nations Secretary General (António Guterres) for ‘an immediate ceasefire and an end to the Russia’s war in the Ukraine'”, Kluge settled.
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