A grim milestone has been crossed these days in the war in Ukraine – extra than 100 assaults on overall health treatment confirmed by WHO due to the fact the start out of the war on 24 February. The assaults so significantly have claimed 73 lives and injured 51.

Of the existing whole of 103 assaults, 89 have impacted well being amenities and 13 have impacted transport, which includes ambulances.

“We are outraged that assaults on health care are continuing. Assaults on well being treatment are a violation of worldwide humanitarian legislation,” mentioned Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-Standard, at a press conference. “Peace is the only way ahead. I all over again connect with on the Russian Federation to stop the war.”

“It’s a actually unhappy irony that we are recording this milestone of more than 100 assaults on overall health in Ukraine on World Health and fitness Day,” observed Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, who frequented the humanitarian hub of Lviv in western Ukraine these days. “I have been personally struck by the resilience and fortitude of health treatment vendors and in truth of the health program alone in Ukraine. WHO has been functioning to guarantee supply traces continue to be open up to enable lifesaving well being and clinical materials to achieve metropolitan areas and cities nationwide, and continued assaults on well being make this energy all the additional tough.”

This milestone of above 100 assaults on health and fitness spans barely 42 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine commenced. The influence of this violence is not only fast, in the quantities of deaths and injuries – but also long-time period in the implications for Ukraine’s wellbeing treatment technique. It’s a key blow to the country’s attempts to institute well being reforms and reach common wellbeing protection, a intention it had manufactured major progress on just before the war erupted.

“Across Ukraine, 1000 wellbeing facilities are in proximity to conflict parts or in adjusted locations of handle,” described Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Agent in Ukraine. “Health employees all through the place are jeopardizing their lives to serve people in will need of health-related services, and they, and their people, need to never be focused. Even further, when people today are prevented from looking for and accessing wellness treatment, possibly simply because the facilities have been wrecked or out of worry that they might come to be a focus on, they reduce hope. The mental overall health toll wreaked by the war simply cannot be underestimated, influencing civilians and the wellbeing workforce alike.”

Assaults on wellness are sadly observed amid conflicts globally. Given that 1 January 2022, WHO has verified 160 attacks on wellbeing care in 11 countries and territories ensuing in 97 fatalities and 74 injuries. Outside of Ukraine at this time, Sudan is also witnessing a latest improve in attacks on health treatment.


Notes to the editor

What is the definition of an assault on health?

An assault on overall health treatment is any act of verbal or actual physical violence or obstruction or menace of violence that interferes with the availability, access and supply of curative and/or preventive wellbeing providers. Sorts of attacks range across contexts and can variety from actual physical violence, psychosocial threats and intimidation to use of significant weaponry from healthcare amenities.

Assaults on well being care include assaults on health and fitness facilities, transport, personnel, sufferers, materials and warehouses.

What’s WHO’s function?

WHO has been tasked by WHA to keep track of and disseminate stories on attacks on wellness (WHA Resolution 65.20).

Our Assaults on Overall health Treatment initiative aims to reinforce security for overall health employees just about everywhere so they can supply health care in a protected environment with no disruption from functions of violence. The initiative has a few key pillars of operate which includes (1) the systematic assortment of data on assaults, (2) advocacy for stopping attacks, and for halting them if they occur, and (3) the promotion of excellent tactics and heightened awareness for protecting healthcare from attacks. 

How does WHO carry out its function?

WHO’s Surveillance Program for Attacks on Wellness Treatment (SSA), launched in December 2017, is the major mechanism for gathering primary source information of assaults on healthcare in international locations with sophisticated humanitarian emergencies. Its methodology allows the cataloguing of attacks and presents data based on a amount of certainty for every incident. The resulting facts is then created publicly available. 

Does WHO make other information and facts on assaults on health treatment publicly accessible?

WHO does not share knowledge beyond data revealed on the SSA dashboard, which has distinct measures in place to secure the confidentiality of sources and to prevent any even further hurt to survivors of an attack and the affected group. 

Does WHO examine attacks on wellness treatment?

WHO is neither mandated nor outfitted to examine these attacks, together with identification of the perpetrators.  WHO’s part is to systematically gather and disseminate facts on assaults. It does so by verifying that assaults on healthcare have occurred in buy to highlight their extent and effects. Other bodies inside of the United Nations program have the mandate to examine attacks on health care and WHO cooperates with them.