Spotlight Falls On Mental Health Strains From Ukraine Invasion

News outlets cover concerns over mental health in Ukraine under traumatic circumstances, stresses experienced by refugees, and a lack of medical staff in the country. Separately, the European Society of Cardiology bans Russian doctors.

ABC News:
‘Nation Under Stress’: Doctors Say Mental Health A Top Priority In Ukraine 

Since the war in Ukraine began, more than 3 million refugees have fled — by bus, train, car and foot — for neighboring countries. Some have destinations in mind, while others have no plan. But as these displaced citizens navigate different yet equally impossible conditions, doctors at the countries that border Ukraine say there’s a common thread: mental health is the most often reported medical problem. ABC News interviewed doctors from the U.S. and Europe who flew to the border to volunteer. According to those doctors, among the millions of refugees, acute stress disorder has been reported as a common ailment. (Kondoleon, 3/22)

500,000 Refugees From Ukraine Have Mental Health Issues, WHO Says 

About half a million refugees from Ukraine who have fled to Poland need support for mental health disorders, and 30,000 have severe mental health problems, the representative for the World Health Organisation in Poland said on Tuesday. Refugees arriving in Poland are suffering from a range of health problems, including diarrhea and dehydration, but the main need is for support due to trauma, Paloma Cuchi, WHO representative in Poland, told a briefing in Geneva. (3/22)

‘Nurses Needed:’ Duke Health Nurse Helps Infants In Ukraine As Bombs Fall Nearby

A Duke Health nurse is back home in the Triangle after spending nearly a week at a hospital in Ukraine. Melissa Babb traveled to the war zone to treat infants in need of heart surgeries. She told WRAL News about her life-changing experience, and why she’s willing to do it all over again. The idea began from the safety and comfort of her couch. Babb was watching TV with her husband Mitch when she noticed a Facebook post: Nurses needed. (3/22)

Fox News:
European Society Of Cardiology Bans Russian Docs Amid Ukraine Invasion

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC), an international community of cardiologists, said in a statement sent to Fox News, that it paused the memberships of the Russian Society of Cardiology and the Belarussian Society of Cardiologists amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which is also one of its member countries. Cardiologists in Russia or Belarus are also barred from any ESC event, including presenters, the statement said. “Please let us emphasize that this extraordinary measure is not at all directed against cardiologists, scientists, and other ESC members from the Russian Federation or Belarus. They are not to blame for the war. They are our friends and colleagues in the fight against cardiovascular disease.” Stephan Achenbach, President of the ESC, said in the statement. (McGorry, 3/23)

Ukraine Uses Facial Recognition To Identify Dead Russian Soldiers, Minister Says

Ukraine is using facial recognition software to identify the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in combat and to trace their families to inform them of their deaths, Ukraine’s vice prime minister told Reuters. Reuters exclusively reported that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense this month began using technology from Clearview AI, a New York-based facial recognition provider that finds images on the web that match faces from uploaded photos. It was not clear at that time how the technology would be used. (Dave, 3/23)

In global covid news —

Global COVID-19 Cases Climb For Second Week In A Row 

Led mainly by surges in Asian hot spots, COVID-19 cases last week increased for the second straight week, though deaths continued to fall, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday in its weekly pandemic update. Last week marked a turnaround in a 5-week decline in cases. In the continued rise this week, cases were up 7% compared to the week before, the WHO said. Cases were up 21% in the Western Pacific region, an area that includes locations experiencing surges, including South Korea, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. (Schnirring, 3/23)

Sweden Jumps The Gun On Covid Strategist’s New WHO Job

Sweden’s announcement that Anders Tegnell, the mastermind behind the Scandinavian country’s controversial Covid-19 strategy, had been hired by the World Health Organization has turned out to be premature. The March 9 report by Sweden’s Public Health Agency FHM said that Tegnell had resigned as state epidemiologist to become a senior expert in a group that will coordinate the work between the WHO, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF and vaccine organization Gavi. Svenska Dagbladet first reported that the announcement was met with “surprise and confusion” within the WHO. (Jungstedt, 3/23)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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