More Than Half of Ukrainians Vulnerable to Health Risks


March 23, 2022 — The numbers may be daunting: 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled to different international locations for the reason that warfare with Russia started a month in the past. One other 6 million have needed to flee their properties, in response to figures from the Worldwide Group for Migration.

That’s along with the 12 million Ukrainians now residing inside a zone managed by Russian forces.

All collectively meaning almost half of all Ukrainians are both on the transfer or can’t transfer due to the continuing battle, Michael Ryan, MD, govt director of the World Well being Group’s Well being Emergencies Programme, mentioned at a digital press convention Wednesday.

“That is an unimaginable, shameful statistic 4 weeks into this invasion,” he mentioned.

A better have a look at the 6 million internally displaced individuals reveals how susceptible they’re, Ryan mentioned, together with:

  • 27% of these households have an infant below 5.
  • 56% of households have an individual over 60.
  • 32% of households have a chronically sick particular person.
  • 10% of households have a pregnant lady.
  • 19.5% of these households have a disabled particular person.

These figures “don’t even get to the problems of psychological well being and the trauma that these individuals have suffered,” Ryan mentioned.

Though a number of media give attention to the refugees, “there’s an extremely complicated downside inside Ukraine as effectively and really, very complicated wants.”

Ryan expects the state of affairs to worsen earlier than it will get higher.

“I do not wish to be a Cassandra, however the issues we face up to now, collectively … are actually the tip of an iceberg of want,” Ryan mentioned. “There’s going to need to be an extra huge scaling up of help inside Ukraine within the coming weeks.”

WHO Director-Common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, agreed.

“The state of affairs continues to deteriorate in lots of elements of the nation and is vital within the Mariupol and Bucha districts,” he mentioned.

As well as, the disruption to companies and provides all through Ukraine is posing an excessive threat to individuals with cardiovascular ailments, most cancers, diabetes, HIV and tuberculosis, that are among the many nation’s main causes of mortality, he mentioned.

“Displacement, poor shelter, and overcrowded residing situations attributable to the battle are additionally growing the danger of measles, pneumonia, and polio in addition to COVID-19,” he mentioned.

Including to the problem are the now 64 verified assaults on well being care for the reason that begin of the warfare. Well being programs, services, and well being employees, Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned, “ought to by no means be a goal.”


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