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European Center for Disease Prevention and Control to assist Ukraine in responding to risks caused by russian terrorist attack on Kakhovka HPP

9 June 2023

This was discussed at a meeting initiated by Minister of Health Viktor Liashko with Deputy Minister, Chief State Sanitary Doctor Ihor Kuzin and Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and her team.

“A few days ago, we witnessed another russian crime against humanity. The area affected by the Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant is hundreds of kilometers. Currently, we have additionally mobilized 97 epidemiological teams to conduct thorough monitoring and epidemic surveillance in the flooded areas. The safety of people is our priority. And we are working 24/7 to protect our citizens in extremely difficult conditions, when a large part of the affected area, the left bank of Kherson region, is under the control of terrorists who are blocking both evacuation and efforts to prevent the spread of acute infectious diseases. Thank you for responding promptly to our request and for being ready to provide us with your expert and other assistance so that we, being in the midst of a full-scale war, can respond to the potential risks to the epidemic situation from another terrorist act of russia in a qualified and effective manner,” emphasized Viktor Liashko.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control has confirmed its readiness to conduct a rapid assessment of epidemic risks and join the work on risk response in the areas flooded after the russians blew up the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station. What is meant here is expert advice, a quick and complete assessment of public health risks. The recommendations provided will allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the existing risks and adjustments to be made, increasing their effectiveness. The main danger is associated with restrictions on access to clean water, as the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP caused hazardous chemicals and lubricants, infectious agents from cemeteries, toilets, landfills, etc. to enter water bodies and soil. The situation will be fully assessed only after the water recedes.

An operational plan for responding to possible epidemiological threats has been launched, formed by the relevant staff of specialists. The laboratory service is working. In particular, specialists take water samples from the river and wells to assess the risk of infectious diseases, namely acute intestinal infections.

Sufficient stocks of medicines for treatment of acute intestinal infections, bactericidal tablets and drinking water disinfectants have been formed in the oblasts.

In addition, a contact center operates under a single number – 080 101 102 – whose specialists provide basic information to affected residents of Kherson region.