On 25 February 2022 WHO delivered its first batch of health support to refugees coming from Ukraine, in a camp situated near the Palanca border crossing point. As of 2 March more than 112 000 people from Ukraine had sought refuge in Moldova, with more than 51 000, including 19 450 children, being accommodated in the country.
”The Republic of Moldova is receiving thousands of refugees, mostly women and children. There are people who have driven for 50 hours and been waiting in border queues for several days at a time. The humanitarian support is needed for refugees in neighbouring countries as well,” said Dr Marius Balea, chief doctor at the General Inspectorate of Border Police.
The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Moldova will provide all refugees with free-of-charge vaccination against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as free access to health care.
Two tonnes of equipment to provide health care to people on the move
WHO partnered with the European Union and the United States Agency for International Development to supply hand disinfectants, face masks and respirators, gloves, non-contact thermometers, and equipment to measure blood pressure and oxygen levels, in the context of both the Ukrainian emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic.
”During this emergency the protection of human lives, health and health systems is paramount. With common efforts and support, we need to ensure access to health services for the displaced population, including for acute medical conditions and chronic diseases – from TB and HIV treatment to maternal and child health,” commented Dr Miljana Grbic, WHO Representative in the Republic of Moldova, as she led a rapid assessment of urgent health needs at the border with Ukraine.
The two tonnes of equipment were donated to the General Inspectorate of Border Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for use by police and emergency personnel when dealing with the incoming refugees from Ukraine. The quantities of equipment donated are sufficient to also cover the needs of a second refugee camp, located in the Ocnița district in the northern part of the country.
WHO is continuing to support the Ministry of Health and authorities in managing Ukraine’s emergency and the COVID-19 pandemic, providing technical support and supplies, and mobilizing people on the ground, together with United Nations partners and donors. On 2 March 2022 the Ministry of Health set up an interagency refugee health working group, co-chaired by WHO, to establish the health system response to the refugee emergency in the country.