Attacks on health care personnel and facilities by Russian forces in Ukraine are impeding efforts to provide life-saving medical care to the beleaguered population, health officials report.
Since the start of the war, there have been 108 incidents of attacks on health care, including hospitals, medical personnel, ambulances, supplies, and warehouses, according to the World Health Organization.
“At least 73 people have been killed and 51 people injured in those attacks,” said WHO spokesman Bhanu Bhatnagar. “And we continue to condemn in the strongest possible terms all attacks on health care, which not only deprive people of vital health services but are also in violation of international humanitarian law.”
The group reports it has delivered 216 tons of emergency medical supplies and equipment across Ukraine. However, Bhatnagar said, just over half of the supplies have reached their intended destinations.
Emergency medical teams are setting up field hospitals where facilities have been damaged or destroyed.
“Roughly 300 health facilities are in conflict areas at this time and about 1,000 health facilities are in changed areas of control,” Bhatnagar said. “And that leaves the health system really vulnerable to infrastructural damage and severe disruptions to critical services. And this means there is limited or no access to medicines and health facilities and health workers in some areas.”
National and international partners are working to set up mobile primary health care clinics.
Reported by Voice of America.