UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have all called on Russia to halt its attacks on Ukraine’s healthcare facilities.
UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, and WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement in a joint statement.
The World Health Organization has recorded 31 attacks on health care since Russia invaded Ukraine. Civilians have been killed and injured in these instances, which have also resulted in the destruction of facilities and ambulances, disrupting access to critical health services.
The heads of UNICEF, the WHO and UNFPA called for an immediate cessation of all attacks on health care in Ukraine.
“Today, we call for an immediate cessation of all attacks on health care in Ukraine. These horrific attacks are killing and causing serious injuries to patients and health workers, destroying vital health infrastructure, and forcing thousands to forgo accessing health services despite catastrophic needs.”
Attacking the most vulnerable – babies, children, pregnant women, those suffering from illness and disease, as well as health personnel risking their lives to rescue lives – is “an act of unimaginable cruelty,” according to the presidents of the international organizations.
Despite the fact that oxygen and medical supplies, particularly those for the management of pregnancy difficulties, are dangerously low, the report stated that more than 4,300 births have occurred in Ukraine since the start of the war, with 80,000 women expected to give birth in the next three months.
Dr. Natalia Kanem (UNFPA), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus (WHO) and Ms. Catherine Russell (UNICEF) also called for an ‘immediate ceasefire’ with unhindered access to humanitarian assistance.