TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – According to the World Health Organization (WHO), multiple Russian attacks have targeted Ukrainian hospitals, ambulances, and health workers.
WHO has confirmed 18 attacks on health providers in the two weeks following the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said at least 10 people have died and 16 have been injured in the 18 attacks so far.
“These attacks deprive all communities of health care,” he said, adding that the “only real solution to the situation is peace.”
The WHO leader made his comments as a Mariupol children’s hospital and maternity facility sustained “colossal” damage from what Ukrainian officials say was an airstrike by Russia.
Following the alleged attack, video taken of the outside of the facility shows vehicles destroyed, trees covered in soot, and debris scattered everywhere.
Another video posted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows the extent of the damage. The facility is in a complete state of disarray, with walls falling, shattered windows, and rooms completely disarray.
The city council described the damage as “colossal,” and Zelensky said there are “people, children underneath the wreckage.”
“Atrocity!” the president said on Twitter, reiterating his request for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone over the country.
“You have the power but you seem to be losing humanity,” he said.
WHO emergency program chief Mike Ryan said Wednesday that the violence in the country is driving a health crisis that “will only worsen” unless there is a ceasefire.
With more than 2 million people fleeing the country, an unknown number of people staying in bomb shelters, and multiple attacks on health facilities, Ryan says Ukrainian conditions are “the worst possible ingredients” for an outbreak of infection.
He calls infectious diseases and other health threats one of “the four horsemen of the apocalypse” from the Bible, the book of revelations (Rev 6:1-8).
“It doesn’t matter if it’s COVID, polio, or measles,” he said.
“You put that many people in desperation and on the move, women and children packed together, people in basements, people stressed, people not eating, not sleeping, these are the conditions in which immune systems are weak, people’s defenses are low and infectious diseases can rip through populations.”