WHO delivers medicines and medical supplies to Ukraine

WHO

Dr Vasyl Lazoryshynets, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine, thanking Dr Ihor Perehinets, Deputy WHO Representative in Ukraine, for a shipment of medical supplies and medicines. Photo: WHO.

On 22 September 2014, WHO delivered 19.2 tonnes of medical supplies and medicines to treat about 170 000 people for common diseases in Ukraine. The emergency health kits will help the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and local health authorities respond to the needs of the population residing in or displaced from the Donbas region. As of 18 September 2014, there were over 275 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and almost 8200 wounded, according to WHO and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The kits contain medicines to treat chronic and infectious diseases, and medical equipment for surgery and other types of care, including that for childbirth. The shipment of these supplies was possible through the generous support of Israel, Norway and WHO.

“Through this humanitarian aid we are supporting Ukrainian health authorities in providing health care to the people affected by the crisis. This is a significant help in a critical time of the response, but this does not solve the situation entirely,” said Dr Dorit Nitzan, WHO Representative to Ukraine. “More is needed to improve people’s access to medical treatment, health services and equipment, including care for diabetes, renal dialysis and organ diseases, as well as to address the special needs of disabled people and other vulnerable populations.”

Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, the health situation has deteriorated, with shortages of medicines and medical supplies and reduced access to health care, especially for people who reside in or have fled the conflict area. In particular, funds are lacking to procure medicines and health services for IDPs, and the Ministry of Health and WHO receive regular requests for provision of pharmaceuticals and consumables for health care services.

WHO continues to scale up its efforts to provide treatment to those in need across the country. Since the beginning of 2014, WHO has worked in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to coordinate the humanitarian health response.