Press Release

Minister of Health and WHO Director-General meet in Kyiv to discuss health needs and support for Ukraine 

08 May 2022


Kyiv, 07 May 2022 – Viktor Liashko, the Minister of Health of Ukraine, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, met in Kyiv today to discuss the devastating impact of war on Ukraine’s health system, the most pressing health issues and best ways WHO can provide health assistance for Ukrainian primary care facilities, hospitals and pharmacies to ensure continuity of care. “As a child of war myself, I relate a lot to what Ukrainians are going through,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “Building on our longstanding relationship with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, WHO is more committed than ever to supporting Ukraine’s heroic health workers, with medical supplies and technical support to treat the wounded and deliver care wherever it is needed, but the medicine Ukraine needs most right now is peace. WHO continues to call on the Russian Federation to stop the war.” 

“As we work on the immediate response, WHO is here to support Ukraine’s recovery, continue its halted health reforms and ensure that the health system comes out of the war stronger than ever,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine. 

“I am deeply impressed and grateful to our doctors for their heroism, which they show every day, saving the lives of Ukrainians under fire. Today, more than ever, we need support from global institutions dedicated to protecting the lives and health of people around the world. 

We are grateful for the support provided by WHO to ensure the provision of medical services and the supply of medical devices. We are in touch with the regional office almost around the clock. But as the Minister of Health of Ukraine, I have asked and will ask you to reconsider the termination of the Russian Federation's membership in the WHO Executive Committee and the transfer of the regional office for noncommunicable diseases from Moscow to Kyiv. An aggressor country cannot destroy and kill people with one hand and manage and make decisions in the field of health care with the other hand,” explained Viktor Liashko, the Minister of Health of Ukraine. 

During a visit to Ukraine, Dr Tedros met with the representatives of the President’s Office, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ukrainian health professionals and WHO staff in Ukraine. 

Together with Viktor Liashko, WHO Director-General visited health-care facilities in Kyiv oblast and met Ukrainian health workers to hear about their first-hand experience and challenges they face amid the war. Minister of Health and Director-General of the World Health Organization thanked and expressed appreciation to the Ukrainian medical staff for their tremendous work and dedication in providing care to Ukrainian patients in these difficult times. 

Ukraine’s health system is facing multiple challenges, with the situation growing more dire by the day. WHO works closely with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to identify gaps and needs in the country’s health system and respond to meet those needs rapidly. 

• To date, WHO has delivered 383 metric tonnes of medical supplies to the health-care facilities across Ukraine, reaching the east, south and north of the country where the need is greatest, 

including enough trauma and emergency supplies to conduct up to 15,9001 surgeries medicines and healthcare equipment to serve 650,0002 people. 

• WHO has also Established three health hubs in western Ukraine to support medical evacuations, and ensured safe medical evacuation of patients, including those suffering from cancer, for treatment outside Ukraine. More than 50 emergency medical teams have also been deployed to Ukraine and neighbouring countries to provide training and specialized medical care to supplement existing services. 

• WHO supports Ukraine in mental health, vaccine preventable diseases, trauma and injury prevention, disease surveillance, health financing and other critical areas, also building capacity of Ukrainian healthcare providers on how to handle mass casualties.

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