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Updated March 10th, 2022 at 19:41 IST

WHO warns hospital bombings in Ukraine to create ‘worst possible’ health conditions

"WHO is deeply concerned by the unfolding humanitarian emergency in Ukraine," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Reported by: Zaini Majeed
Edited by: Zaini Majeed
Russia Ukraine war
IMAGE: AP | Image:self
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World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday expressed concerns about the Russian bombings on Ukrainian hospitals, ambulances, and health workers warning that it would create the "worst possible ingredient" for the spread of disease. The global health agency condemned nearly 18 attacks on health providers in just two weeks since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered what he labels the military operation in Ukraine. Russia’s nearly 18 gruesome attacks on hospitals have thus far killed 10 healthcare members and injured 16 others, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing on Wednesday. 

"WHO is deeply concerned by the unfolding humanitarian emergency in Ukraine," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

"These attacks deprive all communities of health care," he iterated, adding that the "only real solution to the situation is peace." 

WHO condemns Russian attack on Mariupol children's hospital 

WHO condemned the assault on hospitals after earlier yesterday Russian aircrafts struck the Mariupol children's hospital and maternity facility had suffered "colossal" damage. According to the footage of the airstrike, posted by Ukrainian President Volydmyr Zelensky, the maternity facility was completely in tatters with debris flying in the vicinity, and the structure sustaining significant destruction. The children's hospital’s windows were shattered and the rooms were totally in ruins. Ukraine’s leader Zelensky slammed the attack, reminding that the bombs had hit a facility with "people, children under the wreckage." "Atrocity!" Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter, lambasting Russia. "You have the power but you seem to be losing humanity," he said. 

Head of WHO's emergencies program, Mike Ryan expressed concerns about the women and children at the hospitals hit in the war, stating that the health crisis "will only get worse” unless a ceasefire was observed. "It doesn't matter if it's COVID, doesn't matter if it's polio, doesn't matter if it's measles," he said. "You put that many people in desperation and on the move, women and children packed together, people in basements, people stressed, people not eating, not sleeping, these are the conditions in which immune systems are weak, people's defences are low and infectious diseases can rip through populations."

WHO also raised concerns that the shortage of oxygen, insulin, cancer therapies, and other essential supplies will continue to grow dire in the weeks and months ahead as the war intensified. The agency urged for setting up a secure “corridor” to get these supplies into Ukraine, particularly as pre-positioned supplies placed in 23 hospitals remain largely out of reach at the moment, it said. The health body also iterated that an estimated 1 million people who already fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries, were potentially spreading the Coronavirus. 

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Published March 10th, 2022 at 19:41 IST

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