According to the WHO, there have been 64 attacks on healthcare since the start of the Ukraine war

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Kharkiv
Volunteers set up a humanitarian aid tent at Freedom Square as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues March 18, 2022 in Kharkiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/Oleksandr Lapshyn

March 23, 2022

(Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday it had verified 64 cases of attacks on public health systems in Ukraine between February 24 and March 21, leaving 15 dead and 37 injured.

Nearly 7 million Ukrainians were internally displaced in the month of war, with one in three suffering from chronic health conditions, according to the global health agency.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, there has been increasing pressure on medics and volunteers from Ukraine and abroad to keep the country’s healthcare system running.

The conflict, which began on February 24, has forced more than 3.6 million refugees to flee Ukraine and has already led to an unprecedented isolation of Russia’s economy due to sanctions.

Limited access to medicines, healthcare facilities and staff in Ukraine is putting further pressure on ongoing treatments for chronic diseases, the WHO said, adding that half of the country’s pharmacies were believed to be closed.

The war has also affected COVID-19 vaccinations and routine vaccinations in Ukraine, the health agency said.

Between February 24 and March 15, 175,000 people were given COVID-19 vaccines, compared with at least 50,000 shots a day before the Russian invasion, the WHO said.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said last week that refugees from Ukraine should be offered full treatment with COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses if they do not have proof of previous vaccination.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta) According to the WHO, there have been 64 attacks on healthcare since the start of the Ukraine war

Bobby Allyn

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