The World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus visited Kyiv, Ukraine, late last week, to assess things for himself since the Russian invasion began in February.
According to him, the scenes of devastation he saw brought back painful memories of fear, pain, and loss that he had felt in his home country of Ethiopia, in the past.
“As a child, I experienced the smell, sound, and devastation of war. My time in Kyiv has brought back those very painful and vivid memories of fear, pain, and loss.
“I know the horror that people in Ukraine are experiencing and wish for peace to return – here and everywhere in the world,” he wrote on social media on Monday, sharing a picture that showed a destroyed building in Irpin, Ukraine, behind him.
As a child I experienced the smell, sound & devastation of war. My time in #Kyiv has brought back those very painful & vivid memories of fear, pain & loss. I know the horror that people in #Ukraine are experiencing & wish for peace to return – here & everywhere in the world. pic.twitter.com/el9LYh9jwT
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) May 8, 2022
The executive director of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Michael Ryan, was also in Kyiv.
Ryan said the WHO had already documented 200 attacks on medical facilities in Ukraine.
He said intentional attacks on healthcare facilities are a breach of international humanitarian law and represent war crimes in any situation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Thursday Russian troops had destroyed or damaged almost 400 hospitals and clinics in his country.
He added the situation with access to medical services in the country’s east and south is catastrophic.