WHO / UKRAINE

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02-Mar-2022 00:05:39
The World Health Organization said it was “deeply concerned about reports of attacks on health facilities and health workers” and stressed that “attacks on healthcare are a violation of international humanitarian law.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / UKRAINE
TRT: 5:39
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

FILE – GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, WHO headquarters exterior

02 MARCH 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"WHO is deeply concerned about the unfolding humanitarian emergency in Ukraine. WHO is on the ground, working with our partners to respond, to assess the impact of the conflict on the health of Ukraine’s people and its health system, and to deliver essential medical supplies from our hub in Dubai. The first shipment will arrive in Poland tomorrow, including 36 metric tonnes of supplies for trauma care and emergency surgery to meet the needs of 1,000 patients, and other health supplies to meet the needs of 150,000 people. Prior to the conflict, WHO distributed emergency supplies to 23 hospitals, although our prepositioned supplies in Kyiv are currently inaccessible. There is an urgent need to establish a corridor to ensure humanitarian workers and supplies have safe and continuous access to reach people in need."
4. Wide shot, press room
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
"We are also deeply concerned about reports of attacks on health facilities and health workers. We have received several unconfirmed reports of attacks on hospitals and health infrastructure, and one confirmed incident last week, in which a hospital came under heavy weapons attack, killing four people and injuring ten, including six health workers. We are currently in the process of verifying several other incidents. The sanctity and neutrality of health care – including of health workers, patients, supplies, transport and facilities – and the right to safe access to care, must be respected and protected. Attacks on healthcare are a violation of international humanitarian law."
6. Wide shot, press room
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO):
“Prior to the conflict, Ukraine had experienced a recent surge of cases of COVID-19. Low rates of testing since the start of the conflict mean there is likely to be significant undetected transmission. Coupled with low vaccination coverage, this increases the risk of large numbers of people developing severe disease. Critical shortages of oxygen will have an impact on the ability to treat patients with COVID-19 and many other conditions. At least three major oxygen plants in Ukraine have now closed, and we are seeking ways of accessing oxygen from neighbouring countries and ways to deliver it safely to where it’s needed."
8. Wide shot, press room
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
"So, humanitarian access, corridors, moments of peace - anything that can be done to create a situation where we can move supplies, move patients, move other things, will be hugely beneficial at this point. But right now, in the chaos of what is happening there, it is very hard to see how it can be achieved in the coming days, and that is why the tragedy unfolding for the people of Ukraine is so avoidable and so unnecessary.”
10. Wide shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
“I think the estimate just last week was that there are about 2,000 people on oxygen, high-flow oxygen for COVID in Ukraine. That's 2,000 people that need oxygen to survive and that number, you know, it hasn't changed. And in fact, if anything, that number has gone up because we have people with injuries, people undergoing surgery who need oxygen. We have children with childhood pneumonia. We have women with difficulties in labour. So, oxygen is not just lifesaving in COVID, oxygen is lifesaving full stop. And you need it when you need it. You can't wait until tomorrow for oxygen. You can't wait until next week. You can't be put on a waiting list for oxygen. You can't stand in a queue for oxygen. Oxygen saves your life right now, and when you need it, you need it.”
12.Wide shot, press room
13. Wide shot, press room
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization (WHO):
(Begins under cutaway) “Any time you disrupt society like this and put literally millions of people on the move, then infectious diseases will exploit that. People are packed together, they are stressed. And they are not eating, they are not sleeping properly. They are highly susceptible to the impacts of, first of all, being infected themselves; and it is more likely disease will spread. So, what might be for the rest of the world a, inverted comas, 'mild variant' could be a different experience for someone who is in that situation. And we see it all the times in refugees. We see this all the time around the world. We see this in the Middle East. We see this in Africa. The consequences of infectious disease in displaced people, in refugees who have been, as I said on the move, overcrowded, stressed, without proper nutrition or sleep, infectious diseases exploit that. So, there's no question that the disease, COVID-19, will exploit that in the coming weeks."
15. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

The World Health Organization said it was “deeply concerned about reports of attacks on health facilities and health workers” and stressed that “attacks on healthcare are a violation of international humanitarian law.”

Speaking at a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday (02 Mar), WHO chief Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said his Organization was deeply concerned about the “unfolding humanitarian emergency” in Ukraine. He said WHO was working with its partners on the ground to respond to and assess the impact of the conflict on the health of Ukraine’s people and its health system.

He said the first delivery of essential medical supplies from WHO’s hub in Dubai would arrive in Poland tomorrow, including 36 metric tonnes of supplies for trauma care and emergency surgery to meet the needs of 1,000 patients, and other health supplies to meet the needs of 150,000 people. He stressed the need to establish a corridor to ensure humanitarian workers and supplies have safe and continuous access to reach people in need.

Dr Tedros said WHO received several unconfirmed reports of attacks on hospitals and health infrastructure, and one confirmed incident last week, in which a hospital came under heavy weapons attack, killing four people and injuring ten, including six health workers. He said, “We are currently in the process of verifying several other incidents. The sanctity and neutrality of health care – including of health workers, patients, supplies, transport and facilities – and the right to safe access to care, must be respected and protected."

The WHO chief said, prior to the conflict, Ukraine had experienced a recent surge of cases of COVID-19. He said low rates of testing since the start of the conflict mean “there is likely to be significant undetected transmission.” He added, “Coupled with low vaccination coverage, this increases the risk of large numbers of people developing severe disease. Critical shortages of oxygen will have an impact on the ability to treat patients with COVID-19 and many other conditions. At least three major oxygen plants in Ukraine have now closed, and we are seeking ways of accessing oxygen from neighbouring countries and ways to deliver it safely to where it’s needed."

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, said anything that can be done to “create a situation where we can move supplies, move patients, move other things, will be hugely beneficial at this point.” He said in the chaos of what is happening in Ukraine right now, “it is very hard to see how it can be achieved in the coming days, and that is why the tragedy unfolding for the people of Ukraine is so avoidable and so unnecessary.”

Dr Ryan said there were an estimated 2,000 people on high-flow oxygen for COVID-19 in Ukraine as of last week. He said that number has gone up because due to injuries, surgeries, childhood pneumonia, and women with difficulties in labour. He said, “Oxygen is not just lifesaving in COVID, oxygen is lifesaving full stop. And you need it when you need it. You can't wait until tomorrow for oxygen. You can't wait until next week. You can't be put on a waiting list for oxygen. You can't stand in a queue for oxygen. Oxygen saves your life right now, and when you need it, you need it.”

The Executive Director said, “Any time you disrupt society like this and put literally millions of people on the move, then infectious diseases will exploit that. People are packed together, they are stressed. And they are not eating, they are not sleeping properly. They are highly susceptible to the impacts of, first of all, being infected themselves; and it is more likely disease will spread. So, what might be for the rest of the world a, inverted comas, 'mild variant' could be a different experience for someone who is in that situation. And we see it all the times in refugees. We see this all the time around the world. We see this in the Middle East. We see this in Africa. The consequences of infectious disease in displaced people, in refugees who have been, as I said on the move, overcrowded, stressed, without proper nutrition or sleep, infectious diseases exploit that. So, there's no question that the disease, COVID-19, will exploit that in the coming weeks."
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