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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

WHO Expands Health Care for Millions of War Victims in Ukraine

By Lisa Schlein July 08, 2022

The World Health Organization reports it is expanding its life-saving mission throughout Ukraine to provide physical and mental care to a growing number of war victims deprived of treatment.

WHO has seven hubs across Ukraine that provide for the health needs of people affected by the war. It now is establishing an eighth hub in the strategic southwestern port city of Odessa.

Speaking from the city, WHO Ukraine Crisis Incident Manager Dorit Nitzan says the WHO aims to help people whose physical and mental health has been harmed or has deteriorated as a result of the Russian invasion.

She says millions of people with chronic illnesses are not receiving treatment for their life-threatening conditions. For example, she says people who have not received early diagnosis and treatment for cancer are suffering from advanced tumors.

Similarly, she says people who have not been able to receive treatment for hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and other physical and mental ailments have seen their conditions worsen.

"People are being disabled in all kinds of ways due to the war. The noise and bombardment damages hearing," Mitzan said. "Landmines have been the cause of the amputations. And, of course, the fear, the grief, and the uncertainty that exerts on mental health."

Nitzan notes the health care system throughout the country is overstretched. She says there is a dearth of health care workers. Many have been killed, others have left the country. She says internally displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes are doing their best to fill the gaps.

She says another problem is many people in desperate need of care cannot be reached because of the fighting.

"We do not have ourselves access to all areas. Many areas are now under fire, under attack, as I said ... If we cannot come with experts to the hospitals, to the people, to those we ... we really cannot do the best of jobs," Mitzan said. "So, what we are asking is to have humanitarian corridors to allow us to step in and to care for those in need."

Unfortunately, she notes the many requests by aid agencies for humanitarian corridors to allow help and aid to go in and out of besieged areas have not been met with a positive response.



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