108 Russian attacks on Ukraine's health facilities so far, says UN

Official says many hospitals in Ukraine lack electricity, medical supplies to treat chronic diseases.

108 Russian attacks on Ukraine's health facilities so far, says UN

The World Health Organization said Tuesday it has verified 108 Russian attacks on health care facilities and staff in Ukraine since the start of the war.

These include attacks on health facilities, personnel, transport, supplies, and warehouses.

Bhanu Bhatnagar from WHO Europe spoke from Lviv near the Polish border at a UN press conference.

"The situation is already really bad and challenging. There are hospitals without power; there is a lack of medical supplies. And there is a lack of medicines to treat chronic diseases right across the country," he said.

At least 73 people have died and 51 others wounded in the attacks.

"We continue to condemn in the strongest possible terms all attacks on healthcare, which not only deprive people of vital health services but are also a violation of international humanitarian law," said Bhatnagar.

Over the coming days, WHO said it would provide 15 generators to hospitals across Ukraine with limited or no power supply to areas in the north, east, and south.

"We have set aside two generators for hospitals in Mariupol for delivery as soon as we can get in," said the WHO official referring to the besieged city in Ukraine’s south.

Bringing in supplies

He said that should the fighting escalate further, the health situation will worsen, so WHO is bringing in supplies.

"And that's why we're bringing in all these supplies. But we also need the safe passage to support the health system. Because we're worried that besides the civilian casualties that might happen, there could be many more deaths resulting from lack of access to decent health."

WHO is also supporting the transfer of patients requiring medical evacuation to the Polish border town of Korczowa, where the Polish government has set up a health facility.

Bhatnagar said that around 300 health facilities in Ukraine are in conflict areas, and 1,000 health facilities are in "changed areas of control," leaving the health system vulnerable to infrastructural damage and severe disruptions in critical services.

"This means there is limited or no access to medicines, health facilities, and healthcare workers in some areas."

Hüseyin Demir