Russia-Ukraine crisis

1 in 4 Ukrainians at risk of mental disorder due to conflict – WHO

Reuters
1 in 4 Ukrainians at risk of mental disorder due to conflict – WHO

UN HEALTH AGENCY. A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, on April 6, 2021.

File photo

Cases are rising after 10 months of conflict, prompting a separate United Nations agency to launch online support services

GENEVA, Switzerland – A World Health Organization official said on Tuesday, December 20, that 10 million people, or about a quarter of Ukraine’s population, may suffer from a mental health disorder in relation to the conflict there.

“WHO estimates that up to 10 million people are at risk of some form of a mental disorder, varying from anxiety and stress to more severe conditions,” Jarno Habicht, WHO’s representative in Ukraine told a Geneva press briefing via video link.

More severe conditions include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by distressing events. Cases are rising after 10 months of conflict, prompting a separate UN agency to launch online support services.

Ukraine’s health care system has been under pressure since Russia invaded in February. So far, there have been at least 700 attacks on its health care system, WHO data shows, and Russia’s increase in attacks on critical infrastructure since October has added to the challenges by causing blackouts.

Moscow denies targeting civilians in what it calls a special military operation in Ukraine.

Habicht said respiratory diseases would increase with the cold weather and insufficient heating as would car accidents caused by unlit streets due to blackouts.

“The health system is functioning. But as it is 10 months it’s a huge stress test ” he said. “We are constantly seeing new challenges.” – Rappler.com

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