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WHO representative in Ukraine: In 2024, Russian attacks on Ukraine's medical infrastructure will intensify

The representative of the World Health Organization in Ukraine, Dr. Jarno Habicht, in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine, spoke about the WHO's view of the situation in Ukraine's medical system during the third year of the war, the assistance provided by the WHO to Ukraine and forecasts regarding the impact of the war on the state of healthcare in Ukraine and Europe.

Author: Anna Levchenko

How does WHO assess the condition of Ukraine's medical infrastructure after 2 years of war? To what extent is the medical system of Ukraine capable of providing medical services? 

The war that has gone on for ten years already continues to put health system under test and devastate the health system's capacity to deliver essential services and address the population's health needs.

As of today, from February 2022, WHO has verified 1,773 attacks on healthcare in Ukraine that took the lives of at least 136 health workers and patients. In 2024 the attacks have been intensified.

There is significant damage to health infrastructure, especially in areas closer to the frontline with up to 14% of facilities being fully damaged and up to 48% sustaining partial damage.

From all the attacks during the period, primary health care was affected by 40% of these attacks, impeding Ukrainians' access to basic health services. 15% of attacks impacted emergency medical care centers. 

At the same time while looking to whole country and area under control of Ukraine, majority of the facilities are functional.

We’re especially concerned with the increase in double-tap attacks which put first responders and civilians in ever greater danger. Our data shows that first responders and health transportation workers are x3 more likely to suffer harm from