Nine months of continuous conflict in the eastern region of Ukraine has caused the health care system from this part of the country to enter a state of collapse. According to the World Health Organization that released a statement on Friday, there is an acute lack of vaccines and medicines. This puts people in a very delicate situation, one in which they face growing threats from diseases such as tuberculosis, measles and polio.
The most dangerous conditions are recorded in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. In these urban centers people are on a food shortage. The ongoing armed fight makes the way to a hospital almost impossible. Even the hospitals are unable to offer safety and basic conditions, because they are cut off from electricity and water.
All over the eastern region of Ukraine about 5.1 million people live under these harsh conditions. They suffer from a war situation that led to a humanitarian crisis. The United Nations health agency underlined that about 1.4 million people are highly vulnerable and ought to receive treatment.
The WHO Representative in Ukraine, Dr. Dorit Nitzan, told in a news briefing in Geneva that they have special concerns for infants, children and the lack of vaccines. All Ukraine had no vaccines in the last month. She added that exists a “huge risk of vaccine-preventable diseases” and on this list polio and measles are on the top. Nitzan said that the death recorded from the armed conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces stood at 4,808, with 10,468 wounded until 6th of January. These numbers are provided by the reports from hospitals and morgues.
The WHO said that over 32,500 people in Donetsk and Luhansk live with HIV/AIDS. They are “at high risk for interruption of care and control services”. Only 10,000 of these people were receiving treatment before the crisis started.
The tuberculosis cases appear to increase from day to day. An approximate 40 percent of the new cases of TB presumably have MDR-TB (a form of tuberculosis resistant to a large range of drugs also called multidrug resistant) according to Dr. Dorit Nitzan.
The WHO agency said that ministry of health from Ukraine asked to pass the full responsibility to the agency for distributing and procuring all needed medicines. Mobile emergency units are organized by WHO to provide basic health care in the east of the country.
Image Source: Voice of America News