The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) allocated an additional $1.8 million to support healthcare in Ukraine.

“USAID announces the allocation of an additional $1.8 million to WHO to support the continuity of healthcare in Ukraine,” the World Health Organization Ukraine posted on Facebook.

It is noted that the allocated funds will be aimed at improving the detection of infectious diseases and strengthening epidemiological surveillance.

“For almost six months now, Ukraine’s healthcare system has faced numerous and serious challenges due to the ongoing conflict. We are beginning to see an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases with a corresponding increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths, caused by BA.5 subvariant of Omicron strain which has spread rapidly in Europe since the beginning of June,” said Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

He pointed to the impact of the war on routine immunization against such highly infectious and potentially life-threatening diseases as measles, polio, and diphtheria.

A cholera outbreak remains a real and serious threat, according to Kluge. “The rapid and unexpected spread of monkeypox in the European region could become an even bigger problem for the Ukrainian health care system when the virus reaches Ukraine,” he added.

The doctor emphasized that the only way to deal with these health threats is to have reliable and flexible surveillance systems that can function during and after war.

On behalf of WHO, Kluge thanked USAID for its contribution to protecting the health and well-being of the Ukrainian people and emphasized that health should be at the center of humanitarian aid, as well as a key component of Ukraine’s recovery. “Investing in health now will pay dividends later, when peace finally comes,” the WHO representative emphasized.

As reported, since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, USAID has provided $15.5 million in critical health care support.