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), Dr Ruslan Boltaga (Oncological Institute, Chișinău, Moldova) and Dr Horia Vulpe (The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, USA ) discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer.
Dr Boltaga explains how the Oncological Institute was approaching improvements in cancer care in a LMIC prior to the conflict and their role in helping to support the evacuation of cancer hospital patients from Ukraine.
Dr Vulpe explains how the Blue Herron foundation is working on the front-lines in Ukraine and around the world to aid access to cancer care for refugees impacted by the ongoing conflict.
Prof Sullivan concludes by highlighting the long term impact the war in Ukraine will have on access to cancer care for refugees and displaced patients that will continue even after the conflict has ended.
You can read more about the Special Network here.