During the 12 months since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 802 attacks on the country’s health networkin which at least 101 health workers and patients have died, the United Nations agency said today.
“The war has exacerbated health needs, including the need for mental health care and psychosocial support,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus added at a press conference.
The tratment of chronic diseases, cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and vaccinations against measles, polio and covid-19 These are other needs whose attention has been made difficult by the conflict, indicated the head of the WHO, an agency that in the last 12 months has provided support to 8.4 million Ukrainians.
Last Friday, the WHO called for more funds to support the Ukrainian health sector.
WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans KlügeHe said the country now needs more funds to ensure the provision of mental health and rehabilitation services, while ensuring community access to health services.
“Our goal is to reach 13.6 million people with this support this year,” he told an online briefing from the Ukrainian city of Yitomir. “That’s why we have increased our appeal for 2023 to $240 million: $160 million for Ukraine and $80 million for refugee-receiving countries”.
However, Ukraine also needs more mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, for those who sustained significant injuries in the conflict.
A WHO survey revealed that 10% of Ukrainians have difficulties accessing medicinesamong other things because pharmacies are damaged or destroyed and supplies are not available, Kluge explained.
A third of those surveyed said they could no longer afford the medication they need.
In addition, some 10 million Ukrainians, or almost a third of the population that has remained in the country after the Russian invasion, suffer from mental problems, of which some 4 million present moderate to severe symptoms.
“In my meeting yesterday with the Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenskáshe told me that everyone in society has become a bit of a psychologist,” Kluge said.
Ukraine says it expects Russia to widen the war with a major offensive as the February 24 anniversary of what Russia calls its “special military operation” approaches.
With information from EFE
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