NATURE – Adding to the brutal, immediate effects of Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian people are facing an onslaught of infectious diseases.
Some threats — such as the spread of COVID-19 — are immediate, as people huddle in basements, subway stations and temporary shelters to protect themselves from bombardments.
Without adequate water and sanitation, cases of diarrhoeal diseases are certain to rise.
The risk of polio and measles outbreaks is high. And as health facilities and roads are reduced to rubble, access to diagnostic services and treatments for tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS are being interrupted, which will add to their already sky-high burden.
“I am very, very worried for Ukraine. First and foremost, that this may lead to a long-term conflict that will completely destroy the health system,” says Lucica Ditiu, a Romanian physician and the executive director of the Stop TB Partnership in Geneva, Switzerland.
SHOULD SOMEONE ‘TAKE OUT’ PUTIN?
The crisis comes atop the devastation wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which access to immunizations and essential health services plunged.
When Russia invaded on 24 February, Ukraine was coming off the worst of its Omicron wave, which had peaked that month.
COVID-19 testing has fallen there since the conflict began, which means undetected transmission is probably significant, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said at a 2 March press briefing.
Across the country, COVID-19 vaccination rates are dangerously low — about 65% in Kyiv, but as low as 20% in some oblasts, or regions, said Jarno Habicht, the head of WHO’s Ukraine office, increasing the risk of severe disease and death. (In the United Kingdom, 73% of the population is vaccinated.)
A longstanding mistrust of vaccines among the population has hindered immunization efforts for other vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and polio, as well …
Putin’s own people may ‘take him out’: Boykin
Mar. 15, 2022 – 4:32 – Ret. Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin reveals what Putin’s war on Ukraine has turned into and asks why the U.S. is worried about escalation on ‘Your World.’