Ukraine war: More tuberculosis and HIV cases expected

Released on 05.06.2022

  • Many health facilities were damaged or destroyed as a result of the war in Ukraine. Photo: Francisco Seco/AP/dpa

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Experts express concern about healthcare in Ukraine. They assume that the war will have a massive impact on tuberculosis and HIV infections.

Berlin.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria expects more infections with tuberculosis and HIV as a result of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

“It is too early to accurately assess the long-term consequences of the war, but we expect the conflict to escalate significantly on tuberculosis and HIV rates in Ukraine and across the region,” the fund’s director, Peters Sands, told the editorial network Germany. “Large displacement movements, accommodation in cramped quarters and the interruption of medical care favor the spread of infectious diseases.”

Estimated 260. People in Ukraine are living with HIV according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Ukraine recorded one of the highest incidences of tuberculosis in the European WHO region in 2020. Ukraine is also one of the countries with the highest proportions of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis – this means that common drugs are no longer effective.

Sands was concerned about the health care system in Ukraine. “More than 06 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed, medical staff and patients have been displaced, injured or killed,” he said. Many people no longer have access to medical care, prevention and treatment programs are interrupted. “For tuberculosis patients and people living with HIV, this situation is particularly life-threatening because they rely on regular medication,” Sands warned. “We strongly support the establishment of a protected humanitarian corridor so that medical supplies can be delivered and people who want to leave the conflict area can do so too,” he said.

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