The new humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: Coping with the public health impact of hybrid warfare, mass migration, and mental health trauma

Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2022 Mar 23;1-5. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2022.70. Online ahead of print.


One of the largest mass movements of displaced people from their homelands in recent history must be recognized and assisted by the Free World. The unprovoked Russian attacks on Ukraine during February-March 2022 will leave long-lasting devastating effects on millions of innocent victims. Nations worldwide, especially NATO member countries, will need to intervene to ameliorate the situation. This letter describes major public health issues apart from the COVID-19 pandemic that are emerging concerns, such as shortages of healthcare professionals, chronic care treatments and health prevention services, disinformation communication campaigns affecting the healthcare infrastructure, and the generational impact of the conflict on people's mental health. A global response and public health support need immediate action including humanitarian assistance, food security, clean water supplies, adequate shelter, and safe transportation out of the active military zones.

Keywords: Ukraine; conflict; humanitarian crisis; hybrid warfare; mass migration; mental health.