Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, the World Health Organization has verified 18 attacks on health facilities, health workers, and ambulances in the country, the agency said on Wednesday. The strikes have left 10 people dead and 16 injured.
"These attacks deprive whole communities of health care," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing.
Ukrainian officials on Wednesday said Russian forces targeted a maternity and children's hospital in the port city of Mariupol, and the heavy shelling severely damaged the building and left 17 people injured.
To help Ukraine, WHO is sending medical supplies to hospitals treating trauma victims, Tedros said, and providing health care for refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. "Some of the main health challenges we see are hypothermia and frostbite, respiratory diseases, lack of treatment for cardiovascular diseases and cancer, and mental health issues," Tedros said.
The solution to the crisis "is peace," Tedros declared. "WHO continues to call on the Russian Federation to commit to a peaceful resolution to this crisis, and to allow safe, unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance for those in need."