MOSCOW, January 16 (Sputnik) — Some 1.4 million people in eastern Ukraine require humanitarian health assistance amid the destruction of health care facilities and lack of medical personnel, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.
">5m affected ppl in crisis in eastern #Ukraine — 1.4m are considered to be highly vulnerable and in need of humanitarian health assistance," WHO posted on its official Twitter account, adding that more than 50 health facilities in the region have been partially or completely destroyed and up to 70 percent of health care workers have fled Donbas region or died since the beginning of the conflict between Kiev-led forces and independence supporters in Donetsk and Luhansk.
The organization also warned of possible outbreaks of communicable disease, including those preventable through vaccination as "the average vaccination coverage in #Ukraine is well under 50%"
The regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have been suffering a severe humanitarian crisis as a result of a military operation launched by Kiev in mid-April 2014. Since August, Russia has sent a total of 11 humanitarian aid convoys, with food and medicines, to the region. In December the WHO and the United Nations Population Fund sent first aid medical kits to the Ukrainian authorities for distribution in the country's south-east.