The World Health Organisation on Thursday called for a safe corridor to deliver medical supplies to health care workers and people in need in war-torn Ukraine.
The WHO's Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the organisation is working with its partners to assess and respond to the impact of the conflict on the health of Ukraine’s people and its health system, and to deliver essential medical supplies from a warehouse in Dubai.
“WHO is deeply concerned about the unfolding humanitarian emergency in Ukraine,” Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference on Wednesday. He shared pictures of medical deliveries for the country, stating a safe corridor is needed to bring them to the people in need.
The first shipment of medical supplies arrived on Thursday at Warsaw airport, Poland, for delivery to Ukraine. The supplies will be moved into trucks to the border with Ukraine, and then further, to support the health system in Ukraine. The shipment included 36 metric tonnes of supplies for trauma care and emergency surgery to meet the needs of 1,000 patients. Other health supplies will meet the needs of 150,000 people.
A large @WHO shipment of life-saving medical supplies has arrived in #Poland en route to #Ukraine health facilities. We must have safe passage for these deliveries to the health workers and people in need. https://t.co/glRUVYq5pD— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 3, 2022
Attacks on health care systemDr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, explained that WHO does not want to be drawn into politics but this does not mean that it does not condemn attacks against civilians. “We are used to working in conflict zones around the world to help people. The fighting needs to be stopped.” He called on both sides, in particular Russia, to reconsider their positions. Until now, the WHO has not spoken to Russia but hopes to do it soon, Ghebreyesus admitted. “We are also deeply concerned about reports of attacks on health facilities and health workers,” he added.
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