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Session: Ukraine: Status for Healthcare, Oncology and Medical Physics [Return to Session]

Ukraine: Status for Healthcare, Oncology and Medical Physics

R Sullivan1*, R Zelinskyi2*, A Agulnik3*, N Kovalchuk4*, (1) King's College London, London, GB, (2) Spizhenko Clinic, Kyiv, UA, (3) St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, (4) Stanford University Cancer Center, Stanford, CA


SA- -206-0 (Saturday, 7/9/2022) 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM [Eastern Time (GMT-4)]

Room 206

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, 2022 brought the largest humanitarian disaster since the World Word II to the heart of Europe. Ukraine has lost tens of thousands of civilian lives, out of which many were innocent children. Many more have been wounded, with approximately a third of the population of Ukraine being displaced: 7 million as refugees and 7.1 million as internally displaced people According to Ukraine’s Minister of Health, Viktor Lyashko, during the first 100 days of war more than 600 healthcare facilities sustained damage, 105 of which were rendered beyond repair. Even if the war stopped today, the damage to the healthcare infrastructure will remain for years to come without world’s continuing support.

Prior to the full-scale Russian invasion, according to unpublished Ukrainian NCI (Tumor Registry) data, in Ukraine with 44 million population, an estimated 139,000 people were living with newly diagnosed cancer, and between 1,000 and 1,200 children were receiving active cancer treatment. As to radiotherapy, Ukraine is classified by DIRAC IAEA as a Low Middle Income country with the level of availability being 2.6 External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) machines per 1 million people. Per DIRAC data, until Russia annexed Crimea and parts of the Donbas region in 2014, Ukraine had 52 radiation therapy centers with 86 Co-60 machines (81%) and 20 linear accelerators (19%). Since 2014 Ukraine has lost control of 10 cancer centers and over 13 EBRT machines in occupied part of Donbas and 5 machines in Crimea (totally 17% of Ukrainian EBRT machines). To address the growing need for cancer treatment, 16 linear accelerators were installed by 2022, and the ratio of Co-60 to linear accelerators became 54% to 46% (without taking into account EBRT machines in the occupied territories since 2014). The Ministry of Health of Ukraine planned to purchase additional 20 linear accelerators, but this plan did not materialize as the Russian full-scale invasion shattered Ukraine in the early hours of February 24th. In the fourth month of the war, the situation in Ukraine is fluid, and as of June 10th, 2022, 3 additional cancer centers are under occupation, 3 cancer centers have suspended operation, and 2 cancer centers are under constant shelling. Some of the centers in the west of Ukraine operate with double the volume of patients.

This session will convey the WHO perspective on the healthcare situation in Ukraine and surrounding areas, provide direct evidence of situation in radiation oncology in Ukraine from medical physicist and radiation oncologist perspectives, discuss US-led initiatives of evacuating pediatric patients and volunteering efforts to support Ukraine.
Learning objectives:
1. Learn about healthcare situation in Ukraine and surrounding areas
2. Learn about situation in radiation oncology in Ukraine from medical physicist and radiation oncologist perspectives
2. Learns about the initiatives to support Ukraine


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