War in Ukraine: Impacts on the Slovakian cancer care system

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Published: 11 May 2022
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Dr Darina Sedláková - Slovak League Against Cancer, Bratislava, Slovakia

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 Darina Sedláková (Slovak League Against Cancer, Bratislava, Slovakia) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.

Dr Sedláková begins by talking about her background with international relations, particularly with the World Health Organisation, the Slovak League Against Cancer and the Association of European Cancer Leagues.

She then goes on to reflect on what the war in Ukraine has meant for Slovakia over the last couple of months, especially in terms of cancer patients and the impact on the health care system.

Prof Sullivan concludes by asking Dr Sedláková, what she sees as the challenges for cancer and healthcare in Europe going forward.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here