The lives of millions will be under threat in Ukraine this winter, the World Health Organization has said, according to BBC. Half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is either damaged or destroyed, and 10 million are currently without power, said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe.
Ukraine’s health system is “facing its darkest days in the war so far,” and the best solution is for the conflict to end, Dr. Kluge told a news conference in Kyiv.
The WHO has documented 703 attacks on health infrastructure since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. Meanwhile, last week Russia hit even more energy facilities and civilian buildings in its so far heaviest missile attack of the war.
“Dr. Kluge said hundreds of hospitals and healthcare facilities were ‘no longer fully operational, lacking fuel, water and electricity to meet basic needs’ as a result of attacks. The WHO defines an attack as involving violence as well as threatened violence against hospitals, ambulance and medical supplies. Maternity wards need incubators, blood banks need refrigerators and intensive care beds need ventilators, Dr. Kluge said, adding that ‘all require energy’,” BBC reported.
Warning that “cold weather can kill,” the World Health Organization said while 10 million Ukrainians remain without power, many face life-threatening conditions as temperatures fall — to as low as -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. It is believed that another two to three million people could leave their homes to find warmth and safety over winter, CNBC wrote.