World Health Organization has revealed that millions of lives will be under threat in Ukraine this winter.
Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe,noted that Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is either damaged or destroyed, and 10 million are currently without power, said
As reported by BBC News, Temperatures are predicted to plummet as low as -20C (-4F) in some areas. The WHO has documented 703 attacks on health infrastructure since Russia’s invasion began.
Last week, Russia hit more energy installations and civilian buildings in one of its heaviest aerial bombardments of the war.
This has been a recent Russian tactic following setbacks on the battlefield, and its impact is starting to be felt more acutely as winter sets in.
“Put simply, this winter will be about survival,” Dr Kluge told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
Ukraine’s health system is “facing its darkest days in the war so far”, and the best solution is for the conflict to end, he added.
Dr Kluge said hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities were “no longer fully operational, lacking fuel, water and electricity to meet basic needs” as a result of attacks. The WHO defines an attack as involving violence as well as threatened violence against hospitals, ambulance and medical supplies.
Maternity wards need incubators, blood banks need refrigerators and intensive care beds need ventilators, Dr Kluge said, adding that “all require energy”.
Up to three million people could flee their homes in search of warmth and safety, the WHO says.
Dr Kluge said he was “very concerned” for 17,000 HIV patients in Donetsk “who may soon run out of critical antiretroviral drugs that help keep them alive”.
Much of Donetsk is under Russian control and Dr Kluge said he was “urgently calling for the creation of a humanitarian health corridor into all newly regained and occupied areas”.