War in Ukraine: Impacts on the Ukrainian cancer care system

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Published: 4 May 2022
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Dr Andriy Hrynkiv - Lviv Regional Cancer Centre of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine

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 Andriy Hrynkiv (Lviv Regional Cancer Centre of Ukraine, Lviv, Ukraine) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.

Dr Hrynkiv begins by discussing what life was like in Ukraine prior to the 24th of February this year and the changes that have been made to adapt to the war.

Dr Hrynkiv then goes on to talk about the challenges of performing surgery in a war-torn country, touching upon receiving surgical supplies, having sufficient operating theatre space and the bottle necks they’re facing, particularly the chemotherapy department.

Prof Sullivan concludes by asking Dr Hrynkiv to express his hopes and fears for the future and to give his key messages for the international community.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here