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“Important milestone” reached with more than 100 attacks on health facilities and transport, says WHO


A mother holds her newborn baby in the bomb shelter of a maternity ward on March 2, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Valentin Ogirenko | Reuters

The World Health Organization on Thursday condemned the more than 100 Russian attacks on health facilities and transport vehicles, including ambulances, in Ukraine over the past six weeks, in violation of international humanitarian law.

Some 73 people were killed and 51 injured, including health workers and patients, according to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“We are outraged that attacks on health care continue,” Tedros told a joint news conference in Washington. DC with US Secretary of Health Xavier Becerra to commemorate World Health Day. Tedros called the more than 100 attacks a “grim milestone”.

“Peace is the only way forward,” Tedros said. “I again call on the Russian Federation to stop the war.”

Tedros’ remarks come on the 42nd day of the Russian invasion, which left hundreds dead and injured civilians in Ukraine, including dozens of children.

He highlighted efforts by the WHO and the United States to keep Ukraine’s “health system running”. This includes working with neighboring countries to support access to healthcare for refugees and delivering 180 tonnes of medical supplies to the hardest hit areas of Ukraine, with plans to deliver more.

The total number of attacks is more than double what the WHO verified three weeks ago.

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