WorldWHO warns that winter will be a “mortal” threat...

WHO warns that winter will be a “mortal” threat to millions of Ukrainians

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The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Monday that millions of Ukrainians face a “mortal” threat from the effects of war and the energy crisis caused by damage to infrastructure caused by the attacks.

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“The devastating energy crisis, the worsening of the mental health emergency, the restrictions on humanitarian access and the risk of viral infections will make this winter a formidable test for the health system and for Ukrainians, but also for the world and its commitment. in support of Ukraine.” said at a press conference the head of WHO Europe, Hans Klüge.

Kluge, who intervened virtually from kyiv, stressed that half of the country’s energy infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed and that this is having a “domino” effect on the health system and on people’s health, hence the the objective this winter is to “survive”.

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“It is the biggest attack on the health infrastructure on European soil since World War II”said Kluge, who spoke of the “blackest” days in nine months of war in Ukraine from the point of view of health.

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The WHOwhich does not attribute authorship or specify the areas in which they have occurred, has so far verified 703 attacks on the Ukrainian health network and both these and those directed at the energy infrastructure cause hundreds of health centers to not be fully operational, lack fuel, electricity or water.

The lack of electricity supply, which affects a quarter of the population, and the threat of cold will force the use of alternative heating methods such as coal or generators, with the consequent risks of exposure to toxic substances, warn experts from the WHO.

Up to three million more displaced

“We expect between two and three million people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety,” Kluge warned.

Director of WHO Europe mentioned as some of the most urgent health problems the treatment of chronic diseases, the low coverage of vaccines against COVID-19 and mental problems, which already threaten around ten million Ukrainians.

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As revealed in the same appearance by the highest representative of the WHO in UkraineJarno Habicht, this organization has supplied 200 tons of medicines and equipment since the start of the war and already entered the town of Kherson last week, recently recaptured by Ukrainian troops.

The WHO It also helps by training health personnel in Ukraine, supplying prefabricated structures in “recently recovered areas” and collaborating in emergency repairs to the health network and energy maintenance.

Despite the aid, one in five Ukrainians has problems accessing medicine, and in occupied zones or close to combat areas, the proportion rises to one in three, Habicht said.

Need for humanitarian corridors

“The war has impacted access to healthcare and supply lines for the flow of humanitarian aid. Ukraine needs sustained resources to get the health system through the winter,” Kluge stated.

Kluge called on the parties to “urgently” allow the creation of humanitarian health corridors in all areas recaptured by Ukraine and in those occupied by Russia.

“Access to health cannot be held hostage”denounced Kluge, who also urged an end to the war “before the health system and the health of the Ukrainian nation are further compromised.”

Source: Elcomercio

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