Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicines in areas their forces have occupied since invading the country 5 1/2 months ago.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Ukraine’s Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities had repeatedly blocked efforts to provide state-subsidized medicines to people in occupied towns and villages.
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“Throughout the six months of war, Russia has not had adequate humanitarian corridors (allowed) for us to provide our own medicines to patients who need them,” Liashko said late Friday at the Ministry of Health in Kyiv.
“We believe that these measures are being taken by Russia on purpose and we consider them crimes against humanity and war crimes that will be documented and recognized,” the minister said.
The Ukrainian government has a program that provides medicines to people with cancer and chronic health problems. The destruction of hospitals and infrastructure and the internal displacement of an estimated 7 million people have also impacted other forms of treatment, according to United Nations and Ukrainian officials.
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The war in Ukraine has severely disrupted the country’s state health service, which was undergoing major reforms, largely in response to the coronavirus pandemic, when Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade on February 24.
The World Health Organization said it had registered 445 attacks on hospitals and other healthcare facilities as of August 11, resulting directly in 86 deaths and 105 injuries.
But Liashko said the side effects are far more serious.
“When roads and bridges have been damaged in areas now controlled by Ukrainian armed forces, it’s difficult to hospitalize someone with a heart attack or a stroke,” he said.
“Sometimes we don’t make it on time, the ambulance doesn’t arrive on time. Because of this, the war claims many more casualties (than those killed in the fighting). It is a number that cannot be calculated.”
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9058042/ukrainian-health-minister-russia-blocking-medicines/ Ukraine’s health minister accuses Russia of blocking access to medicines – National