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 Kathy Oliver ( Chair and Co-Director, International Brain Tumour Alliance) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.
Kathy Oliver explains how the International Brain Tumour Alliance was set up and how this led on to support for brain tumour and rare cancer patient advocacy in Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the crisis, International Brain Tumour Alliance have been networking with other organisations to tackle challenges that arose for cancer patients due to the conflict in Ukraine.
Kathy speaks about how the response to the war in Ukraine highlights the importance of cancer patient advocacy groups and how she hopes there will now be a greater recognition of the work these groups do.
She concludes by looking toward the future and the major issues that will need to be addressed due to the ongoing conflict.
You can read more about the Special Network here and here