War in Ukraine: Current and future impacts on the Romanian cancer care system

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Published: 29 Apr 2022
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Dr Nicoleta Antone - The Institute of Oncology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022 has created a massive humanitarian crisis for Ukraine and Europe generating huge challenges for cancer and palliative care. As of the 1st May some 12-13 million Ukrainian citizens were still trapped in active conflict zones, nearly 8 million had become internally displaced, mostly to the West, and nearly 6 million had left to become refugees.

In support of the WHO Ukraine Cancer Emergency Response and the ECO-ASCO Special Network: Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer ecancer has commissioned a special set of interviews with some of the key actors in the cancer humanitarian response both within and outside Ukraine.

This first set of interviews, conducted some 2 months into the conflict, serve both as sources of on-the-ground experience and as living witness and testament to the extraordinary work of doctors, patient organisations, professional groups and UN agencies such as WHO in their efforts to adapt to the many challenges.

Prof Richard Sullivan (Kings College London, London, UK) and Dr Nicoleta Antone (The Institute of Oncology “Prof. Dr. Ion Chiricuta”, Cluj-Napoca, Romania) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.

They begin by discussing Dr Antone’s experience with and the workings of the cancer care system in Romania prior to the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

Dr Antone then goes on to talk about her experience with cancer care in Romania after the war broke out. Dealing with the surge of Ukrainian refugees, the types of cancer patients that were presenting, and what the major issues were.

Prof Sullivan concludes by asking Dr Antone what her main concerns are looking forward over the next few months.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here