18.5 C
Brussels
Thursday, May 26, 2022

War in Ukraine: Hospitals in the firing line – a unacceptable reality

More from the author

the repression of Uyghurs

China: New revelations on the repression of Uyghurs during the UN visit

0
Michelle Bachelet is the first UN human rights official to visit China since 2005. In the midst of this strictly supervised visit, a series of edifying photos of detainees in Chinese "re-education camps", proof of the repression of Uyghurs, were revealed by several media
President Michel visits Bosnia and Herzegovina

President of the European Council meets the members of the Presidency of Bosnia and...

0
First of all, I would like to thank you, the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, for your warm welcome in Sarajevo. It is a pleasure to be here. It is also important for me to be here to reaffirm our support for your EU path.
Poutine speaking to russian

Ukraine war: Vladimir Putin says that ‘as in 1945, the victory will be ours’ 

0
He made the comments Sunday in a message to former Soviet bloc countries and separatist regions of Ukraine. While, 60 people are missing after a Russian strike on a school in Luhansk

DISCLAIMER: Information and opinions reproduced in the articles are the ones of those stating them and it is their own responsibility. Publication in The European Times does not automatically means endorsement of the view, but the right to express it.

WHO Europe

One of the largest hospitals in eastern Ukraine, providing specialized medical care to a population of 103 000 people, was used to dealing with the consequences of conflict even before the Russian military offensive began on 24 February 2022. Since 2014, the hospital had been playing a crucial role in treating wounded soldiers from the armed struggle in the nearby Donbas region, as well as caring for the 51 000 civilians displaced by the hostilities.

But now, this hospital is out of use.

“The hospital was critical for the entire area, because there was a resuscitation unit here and all the medical equipment needed to care for the civilian population, as well as the surgery and emergency facilities required for treating casualties of the conflict,” said Viktor, the head of the hospital.

In 2019, WHO installed an oxygen generator at the hospital to make sure there was no disruption to the life-saving care being provided to patients, and also donated equipment for washing and sterilizing medical devices.

The start of the war

Andriy, one of the hospital’s health-care workers, recalls the terrifying days following 24 February: “Intensive shelling and attacks on the city began the next day, February 25, and lasted for 10 days. Almost immediately our hospital received an influx of wounded people and we had to set up a bomb shelter in the hospital basement to protect the hundreds of civilians seeking refuge. Most patients and health-care workers were only evacuated from the hospital once the situation had got so bad that we were unable to continue providing medical care.”

After a week and a half of bombardment, the hospital was not just out of action, but so severely damaged that any chance of restarting services was impossible.

Health care #NotATarget

As of 6 April, WHO had verified 91 reports of attacks on health care in Ukraine, causing 73 deaths and 46 injuries. This is unacceptable.

Attacks on health MUST stop. Not only do they endanger lives, they deprive people of urgently needed care and break already-strained health systems.

Health systems, facilities and health workers should never be targets. They must remain protected, functional, safe and accessible to all who need essential medical services. In any conflict, attacks on health care are a violation of international humanitarian law.

Read more: WHO is working day and night to keep medical supply chains open and preserve Ukraine’s health system

- Advertisement -
- EXCLUSIVE CONTENT -spot_img
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement - spot_img

Must read

Latest articles