Ukraine Health Situation After Dam Flooding - WHO
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Edited News | WHO

Ukraine Health Situation After Dam Flooding - WHO

Diseases, mental health crisis and lack of access to care among impacts of Kakhovka dam disaster: WHO

With the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine on 6 June resulting in severe flooding and displacement, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday warned about the risk of water-borne diseases and a looming mental health crisis.

“Our primary concern at the moment is the potential outbreak of water-borne diseases, including cholera and typhoid as well as rodent-borne diseases”, said Dr. Jarno Habicht, WHO’s representative in Ukraine. “Our team is on the ground since day one, closely coordinating with local authorities to monitor the situation and to provide assistance.” 

Already in spring, WHO provided cholera kits to Kherson and neighboring regions as a "preventive measure".

Working with the affected communities, WHO has also been raising awareness of the risk of landmines floating downstream with the floodwaters and posing threats once the waters recede. 

“That is another important area that we need to keep an eye on in the next seven - 10 days, as well as in the future”, said Dr. Habicht. “But we also need to take into account that more than 20 per cent of Ukraine is mined now and it is not only because of this emergency that happened in the Kakhovka Dam but overall mine awareness is a key priority for Ukraine and many of the partners.” 

WHO reported from their field visits in the past week that they observed a significant mental health toll of this disaster. As part of their overall war response, “thousands of healthcare workers have been trained by programs supported by the WHO but also by others, and we have seen many mental health teams now in the field”, said their Ukraine Representative. “In addition, we engaged with the Health Cluster where partners are coming together. But this is another emergency within the emergency after the full-scale invasion."

According to the UN Aid Coordination Office (OCHA), as of Monday the UN and partners had delivered water, hygiene kits and food to nearly 180,000 people in the affected areas.

Dr. Habicht reported that some 100,000 people are living in the settlements which have been flooded. However, the lack of drinking water, the water contamination resulting from the dam disaster and the food security issues will have a much broader impact.

“Currently the situation is devastating, especially in those settlements which have flooded and that is why the humanitarian convoys are delivering as much as possible water, food and this is really the new crisis within the overall emergency and war in Ukraine since the Russian Federation's invasion. So, we need to ensure that the food is available,” said Dr. Habicht.

WHO emphasized that their efforts go beyond the immediate needs, and that restoring health facilities damaged by the floods is a key priority. WHO and partners are also monitoring a potential release of hazardous chemicals into the water, which may have severe impacts for years to come.

-ends-

 

STORY: Ukraine Health Situation After Dam Flooding – WHO 

TRT: 02’12”   

SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
RELEASE DATE: 13 June 2023
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND


SHOTLIST   

  1. Exterior wide shot: UN flag alley UN Geneva. 
  2. Wide shot of podium, moderator, conference room, Palais des Nations, Geneva   
  3. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Dr Jarno Habicht (Zoom from Istanbul) WHO representative in Ukraine: “Our primary concern at the moment is potential outbreak of water-borne diseases, including cholera and typhoid as well as rodent-borne diseases. Our team is on the ground since day one, closely coordinating with local authorities to monitor the situation and to provide assistance.” 
  4. Medium shot: journalists 
  5. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Dr Jarno Habicht (Zoom from Istanbul) WHO representative in Ukraine: “Levels of water will change in the next 7-10 days, so that is another important area that we need to keep an eye on in the next 7-10 days, as well as in the future. But we also need to take into account that more than 20 per cent of Ukraine is mined now and it Is not only because of this emergency that happened in the Kakhovka Dam but overall mine awareness is a key priority for Ukraine and many of the partners.” 
  6. Wide shot: journalists 
  7. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Dr Jarno Habicht (Zoom from Istanbul) WHO representative in Ukraine: “Thousands of healthcare workers have been trained by programs supported by the WHO but also by others, and we have seen many mental health teams now in the field. In addition, we engaged with the Health Cluster where partners are coming together. But this is another emergency within the emergency after the full-scale invasion."
  8. Close-up: journalists, screen with speaker in the background 
  9. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) Dr Jarno Habicht (Zoom from Istanbul) WHO representative in Ukraine: “Currently the situation is devastating, especially in those settlements which have flooded and that is why the humanitarian convoys are delivering as much as possible water, food and this is really the new crisis within the overall emergency and war in Ukraine since the Russian Federation invasion. So, we need to ensure that the food is available.” 
  10. Medium shot: camera equipment, screen with moderator and speaker 
  11. Medium shot: journalists 
  12. Close up: journalist writing 

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