More Than Half of Ukrainians Vulnerable to Health Risks

Extra Than Half of Ukrainians Weak to Well being Dangers

The numbers could be daunting: A complete 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled the preventing to different international locations because the battle 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 each one is along with the 12 million Ukrainians now dwelling inside a zone managed by Russian forces.

Altogether, that implies that practically half of all Ukrainians are both on the transfer or can’t transfer due to the continued battle, Michael Ryan, MD, government director of the World Well being Group’s (WHO’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 more in-depth take a look at the six million internally displaced individuals reveals how susceptible they’re, Ryan mentioned, together with:

  • 27% of these households have an toddler underneath age 5

  • 56% of households have an individual over age 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 lots of media focus is on the refugees, “there’s an extremely advanced drawback inside Ukraine as properly and really, very advanced wants.”

Ryan expects the scenario to worsen earlier than it will get higher.

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

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

“The scenario continues to deteriorate in lots of elements of the nation and this [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 danger to individuals with cardiovascular ailments, most cancers, diabetes, HIV and [tuberculosis], that are among the many nation’s main causes of mortality.

“Displacement, poor shelter and overcrowded dwelling situations attributable to the battle are additionally rising 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 healthcare because the begin of the battle. Well being techniques, well being services, and well being employees, Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned, “ought to by no means be a goal.”

Based mostly on a March 23 digital press convention by the World Well being Group.

Damian McNamara is a workers journalist based mostly in Miami. He covers a variety of medical specialties, together with infectious ailments, gastroenterology, and important care. Comply with Damian on Twitter: @MedReporter.

For extra information, comply with Medscape on Fb, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.


Information briefing, World Well being Group, March 23, 2022.

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