Support the Health Emergency Appeal for Ukraine
The escalating crisis in Ukraine has seen casualties and injuries rising and people forced to flee, severely reducing the capacity of health systems to cope with people wounded and others in need of urgent health care. 12 million Ukrainians need urgent assistance and more than 3 million people have been forced to flee to neighboring countries, while millions are internally displaced. This crisis is having a devastating impact on these countries’ health systems and severely reducing the capacity to cope.
More than 300 health facilities are along conflict lines or in areas that Russia now controls, and a further 600 facilities are within 10 kilometres of the conflict line. Deadly attacks on hospitals and health facilities are putting more lives at risk every day. Essential health services have been disrupted and are collapsing.
With the escalating conflict causing a rising number of casualties and injuries, funding is essential to protecting essential health services. Emergency medical services, surgical departments, and intensive care units are being overwhelmed with trauma patients.
Nowhere can be considered a safe haven in Ukraine today. For the 40 million people that are still in the country, life has changed dramatically in a few days. Millions of people are on the move or packed together in shelters, highly stressed, with little food or water, sleep deprived and in freezing temperatures.
Orest Suvalo, Volunteer Psychiatrist: “People are arriving here directly from the bombed cities, to Lviv, [which is] 24 hours on the train. They are running away from these awful, horrible situations, and they are arriving here in a shock state. This is acute trauma, and we are trying here to stabilize, to provide shelter, to provide some safe space. It’s quite possible to predict that the consequence of these events will be much more widespread.”
In these conditions, infectious diseases such as COVID19, polio or measles can spread rapidly. The disruption of essential services also increases vulnerability to COVID-19, polio, and measles.
The delivery of life-saving support must be scaled up to reach many more people desperate for medical attention — particularly women, children, elderly people, refugees and those with disabilities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working night and day to help with the escalating humanitarian health crisis. But more funding is needed for WHO to provide critical medical supplies and expertise to help people with lifesaving healthcare.
WHO’s response on the ground
WHO has for decades worked closely with health authorities across Ukraine. They have a deep knowledge of the capacities and needs of the country’s health system.
- WHO is working with teams and partners on the ground – to support health facilities and keep Ukraine’s health system from collapsing. 20 Emergency Medical Teams of experts from many countries are about to be deployed to Ukraine and neighboring countries to support staff on the ground, pending a formal request for assistance from Ukraine’s Ministry of Health.
- WHO has sent about 100 metric tonnes of supplies, including oxygen and other essential medical resources such as insulin, surgical supplies, anesthetics, and transfusion kits, as they are running critically low. Medical oxygen is crucial for patients with a range of conditions, including COVID-19 and other critical illnesses.
Other equipment, including oxygen generators, electrical generators, defibrillators, and more have also been delivered, and WHO is preparing to send a further 108 metric tonnes.
- WHO has been ensuring urgent psychological trauma care in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Globally, one in five people living in conflict-affected areas is thought to have a mental health condition.
- WHO is also supporting health systems in host countries to cope with the influx of refugees and ensure that people on the move have access to health services as needed.
The WHO Foundation is playing a key role in supporting the health appeal, and so can you. We are calling on individuals, the private sector, and others to support the emergency health response.
Your contribution will go directly to deliver urgent healthcare to people across Ukraine and refugees in neighboring countries affected by this crisis.