The World Health Organization’s European chief said on Tuesday (May 10) that at least 3 000 people had died in Ukraine because they had been unable to access treatments for chronic diseases.
So far, the global health agency has documented some 200 attacks in Ukraine on healthcare facilities, and few hospitals are currently functioning, the official, Hans Kluge, told a regional meeting attended by 53 member states as well as senior colleagues from WHO.
“40% of households have at least one member in need of chronic treatment that they can no longer find, resulting in an estimated at least 3,000 premature avoidable deaths,” he said in a speech, mentioning diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancer.
WHO officials said last week they were gathering evidence for possible war crimes investigation into attacks it says it has documented by Russia which has denied previous accusations by Ukraine and Western nations has also denied targeting civilians in the war.
At the meeting, held in Copenhagen and attended by many virtually, WHO members will consider measures against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, including possible closure of a major regional office in Moscow.
Russia is a member and voiced opposition to the resolution.
Moscow calls its actions since 24 February a “special military operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of what it calls anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia launched an unprovoked war of aggression.