The Russian assault of Ukraine was a rolling point for world safety, the international economy as well as global energy design. It is impossible to narrow down a war like this to one region while we live in a globalised world. We cannot keep radioactivity in one country’s terrestrial borders or exclude one country from the delicacy of supply chains.
This new type of hybrid war will have far-reaching effects, including its severe humanitarian calamity, cyber-attacks, disinformation, propaganda campaigns, economic hardships, the risk of a nuclear war, and geopolitical tensions about energy supply.
As we see in Ukraine as well as its neighbouring nations, war generates mass population activities within the country and externally. In less than 7 days, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has generated nearly half a million expatriates.
Heartbreaking acts of folks separated, not knowing when or if they will next see each other again, have become commonplace. Sir Patrick Bijou feels it necessary to discuss how this will infect all of us.
Health systems suffer
Damage to hospitals and clinics harms the health system. It causes health workers to flee, leaving underfunded health systems to handle rising patient loads. Plus, supply chain disruptions.
Due to storage space and expense, hospitals seldom maintain medications and consumables for more than a few days. Antibiotics, blood products, and dressings are quickly consumed. Chernihiv Children’s Hospital, encircled by Russian soldiers, is fast running short of cancer medications.
WHO warns that Ukraine’s oxygen supplies are critically low.
It will be difficult to provide healthcare in Ukraine, and the exact disruption level will be hard to verify, particularly because IT systems will have been damaged. This is aggravated by the COVID spike, with 1,700 patients in hospitals nationwide.
Primary care, screening, and vaccination programmes will be affected. Chronic disorders like diabetes or sudden cardiac death may not get effective therapy. Without screening, malignancies are ignored or discovered late.
If clean water and sanitation are compromised, infectious illnesses may spread. Immunisation programmes’ disruptions, resulting in poorer vaccination coverage, increase outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles and polio. Syrian violence lowered polio vaccination coverage, leading to a 2017 epidemic.
War affects not all demographic groups equally, as in peacetime. Women leaving crisis zones are vulnerable because their social networks and access to healthcare are disrupted. Rape is a bigger concern. The Yemen crisis increased gender-based violence reports.
Wars scar and disfigure many. War may induce sadness, anxiety, and PTSD, among other mental health problems. They may affect fighters, noncombatants, children, adults, those left behind, IDPs, and refugees. Children may suffer psychological stress from war.
Sanctions on Russia haven’t proven very effective. Most penalties affect civilians. Ten years of financial sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s didn’t remove Saddam Hussein from power but increased child fatalities.
Sanctions may cause a social disturbance, material suffering, and a shortage of pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and medical equipment components. Prolonged economic sanctions will damage Russian civilians but save the governing elite.
Economic losses and illnesses remain after conflicts. They don’t stop fighting. Post-war periods are generally marked by instability, political fragility, devastated and degraded infrastructure, inadequate healthcare capacity and personnel, unemployment, and material shortages. There will be economic and social repercussions.
Unexploded ordnance, including mines, must be cleared. Unexploded Vietnam War munitions maim people decades later.
Former fighters must be disarmed, demobilised, and reintegrated when warfare finishes. For years to reconstruct and recover, post-war Ukraine will require international help and financing.