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WHO - Thousands of people in Ukraine have complex war-related injuries

Thousands of people in Ukraine have sustained complex injuries linked to the war and need rehabilitation services and equipment to help them, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Tuesday.

They include fractures, amputations, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and burns, Dr. Satish Mishra from the WHO's regional office for Europe, told a media briefing.

Attacks on healthcare facilities, fewer healthcare workers due to displacement, and power shortages were all making it difficult for people to get care, he added.

Even before the war, in 2019, about half the population in Ukraine could have benefited from rehabilitation services, mostly linked to non-communicable conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, Dr. Cathal Morgan, another WHO official said.

Since then, the pandemic and the war have significantly increased the need for rehab services, he added. "Hence the need for urgency."

In comparison, about 2 in 5 people across the European region in 2019 had a health condition that could have benefited from rehabilitation services, according to Morgan.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special military operation" and says it does not target civilians.