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 Mike Morrissey (CEO, European Cancer Organisation) discuss the European Cancer Organisation's response to the Ukraine refugee crisis.
Morrissey begins by explaining that the European Cancer Organisation brings oncologists, nurses, pharmacists and patients together to get a consensus that can then be used to influence WHO, the EU and national governments.
He then details what the response has been from the organisation and how important it has been to create networks with different organisations during this time.
Prof Sullivan goes on to asks Morrissey how the organisation has dealt with the complexities of European politics and the convening between different organisations and even states themselves.
You can read more about the Special Network here.