WHO: 91 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine

Hans Kluge at a press conference in L´viv today
Hans Kluge at a press conference in L´viv today. Photo: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has verified 91 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine since the invasion of Russia.

Dr Hans Kluge, the European director of WHO told a press conference today that  routine immunization coverage for polio and measles is below the threshold for population Ukraine ambulanceimmunity, 50% of Ukraine’s pharmacies are presumed closed and 1000 health facilities are in proximity to conflict areas or in changed areas of control. Roughly 80,000 babies will be born over the next 3 months with insufficient pre-and post-natal care available due to the ongoing conflict.

Kluge visits Ukraine

“I am speaking to you today from the city of L’viv in Western Ukraine, from where WHO is coordinating its activities within the country.  As a doctor myself, I am here in Ukraine to stand in solidarity with the health care workers in the country,” dr Hans Kluge said.  “I speak on behalf of the entire WHO family when I say that it is my deepest wish that this war comes to an end swiftly, without further loss of life. Tragically, this is not the reality we see.”

A healthier tomorrow gaphic from WHOToday is World Health Day, the day on which the World Health Organization was founded 74 years ago in the aftermath of the Second World War, to uphold the principle that health is a human right, and all people should enjoy the highest standard of health.

“On this World Health Day, I reiterate WHO’s determination to provide health for all – wherever they are across the 53 countries of Europe and Central Asia. We seek to ensure that everyone, in whatever circumstances, will not be deprived of the medicines, treatment and care they may need.”

WHO has delivered over 185 tonnes of medical supplies to the hardest hit areas on the country, reaching half-a-million people with materials to support trauma, surgery and primary health care.

A further 125 tonnes of essential items are also on their way. Assistive products – wheelchairs, other mobility aids, communication aids for the blind, are in transit, and will be distributed across Ukraine soon.

Our Planet Our Health

World Health Day is being celebrated today to mark the foundation of the World Health Organization on April 7, 1948. Every year, a theme is chosen for the day, and this time, it is “Our Planet, Our Health”.

Air pollution kills 1 person every minute
Photo: WHO

On this World Health Day (April 7, 2022), WHO is issuing an urgent call for accelerated action by leaders and all people to preserve and protect health and mitigate the climate crisis as part of an “Our planet, our health” campaign marking the organization’s founding day, which falls at a time of heightened conflict and fragility.

In issuing its call-to-action, WHO notes that 99 per cent of people breathe unhealthy air mainly resulting from burning of fossil fuels. A heating world is seeing mosquitos spread diseases further and faster than ever before. Extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, land degradation and water scarcity are displacing people and affecting their health. Pollution and plastics are found at the bottom of our deepest oceans, the highest mountains, and have made their way into our food chain and blood stream. Systems that produce highly processed, unhealthy foods and beverages are driving a wave of obesity, increasing cancer and heart disease while generating up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. This health and social crisis is compromising people’s ability to take control over their health and lives.

For further information see here.