Russian bombardment of the Ukrainian energy system has caused millions of people to experience blackouts or go without heat across the country. Faced with this situation, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has asked citizens to reduce their consumption and distribute it during the day instead of concentrating it at peak hours.
In his nightly message, Zelensky has communicated that, despite the arrangements, blackouts are taking place "due to a higher level of consumption than the country can supply," for which he has requested to be "very thrifty" in consumption. The Ukrainian health system is experiencing "its darkest days," according to the director for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO), Hans Henri Kluge (2022).
"This is a violation of international humanitarian law and the rules of war," Kluge said, adding that the attacks on energy and health infrastructure that hundreds of healthcare facilities are no longer fully operational and lack electricity, water, and fuel to meet the basic needs of citizens. Temperatures are forecast to plummet to -20 degrees in parts of Ukraine. Therefore, it follows that this winter will put the lives of up to 10 million people at risk.
Similarly, extreme colds could lead many people to use alternative heating methods, such as burning wood or using generators, which have health risks, including exposure to toxic substances that are harmful to the elderly, children, and people with diseases.
The WHO (2022) states in a statement that they expect 2 to 3 million people to leave their homes in search of warmth and safety not only around the country but also, if necessary, to leave it. However, these actions will take their toll on the mental health of Ukrainian citizens since it is expected that more than 8 million people are at risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety, stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even drug use and addiction.
Faced with this challenging situation, the United Nations organization has emphasized that Ukraine needs sustained resources for the health system to get through the winter and beyond, key arguments that will occupy an exceptional place on the agenda of the Ukraine Conference next month in Paris, under the leadership of the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski and the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
''I am urgently calling for creating a humanitarian health corridor into all newly regained and occupied areas. WHO and our partners are ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice,'' confirms Kluge in his statement (2022). Click HERE to read the Statement by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe warning that winter in Ukraine "will endanger the lives of millions of people."
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in