WHO – Ukraine Emergency
WHO is working closely with our offices in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, as well as partners to rapidly respond to the health emergency triggered by the conflict and to minimize disruptions to the delivery of critical healthcare services.
WHO continues to deliver much-needed support on urgent health needs. During the crisis, health must remain a priority pillar, with health workers being protected so they can continue to save lives and with health systems and facilities being protected so that they remain functional, safe and accessible to all who need essential medical services. It is imperative to ensure that life-saving medical supplies – including oxygen – reach those who need them.

Emergency in Ukraine – Situation Report 1
5 March 2022  | Emergency Situational Updates

Priority public health concerns
Conflict related trauma and injuries exacerbated by lack of access to health facilities by patients and health staff due to insecurity and lack of access to lifesaving medicine and supplies.
Excess morbidity and death from common illnesses due to disruption in services such as non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer etc.) and acute maternal, newborn and child illnesses.
Spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, measles, polio, TB, HIV and diarrheal diseases due to widespread destruction of water and sanitation infrastructure, inadequate vaccination coverage, lack of access to medicines and medical care, safe water, adequate sanitation and hygiene as well as population movements and crowding.
Mental health and psychosocial health – due to significant stress due to acute conflict and two years of COVID-19.

2.3. Epidemic prone and other infectious diseases
Recent outbreaks of polio and measles threaten the health of populations with suboptimal vaccination coverage (80% and 82% respectively in 2021), and the prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis, including multidrug resistant tuberculosis, are among the highest in Europe. Urgent actions are to re-start or continue preventive measures through vaccination and continued treatment for TB and HIV and to scale up surveillance, early detection and response systems for epidemic-prone diseases.
A polio outbreak (circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2) was confirmed in the country in 2021, with two paralytic cases (detected in October and December 2021), and a total of 21 individuals in two oblasts (Rivne and Zakarpattya) who had positive isolation of cVDPV2 in stool specimens. As a result, a nationwide vaccination campaign targeting all under-vaccinated children (those having only zero or one dose) aged between 6 months and 6 years that began in February 2022. This campaign has been suspended because of the conflict, increasing the risk of further spread.
Over 240 000 weekly cases and 1300 deaths were reported for COVID-19 in the week 21-27 February. While this is a 43% decrease in cases compared to the previous week, testing rates have also declined sharply since the start of the conflict, with a likely significant undetected ongoing transmission. The ongoing high incidence levels of COVID-19 poses a significant risk of severe disease and death, particularly given the low vaccination coverage in at-risk population groups. Critical shortages of oxygen further impact on the ability to treat patients with severe COVID-19, and many other conditions. Beds occupied by COVID-19 patients were repurposed for trauma injuries and critical illnesses.


Emergency appeal – Ukraine and neighbouring countries
2 March 2022