Global health professionals have warned of an increase in Covid-19 in Ukraine as a result of Russia’s invasion, but doctors are also concerned about an increase in other infectious diseases such as polio, cholera, and measles, CNN reported.

Ukraine had low immunisation rates against these diseases before to the war, according to Kate White, an emergency programme manager for Doctors Without Borders, who spoke to CNN on Tuesday.

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“In terms of what we call vaccine-preventable diseases, the status in Ukraine was that the population was not vaccinated to the extent which you would get herd immunity like you would in many other European countries or in the US,” White told CNN.

“Given that that was your baseline, and then now we have a situation where that system or routine immunization is no longer functioning because the health system has been disrupted — and then on top of that, you have the overall public health situation, so many cities where lack of access to health care is compromised, some places where they no longer have the water supply that they used to, they don’t have electricity, there’s issues with sanitation — so, all of these risk factors pile up on top of each other, which means that there is an increased risk,” White was referring to illnesses such as polio, cholera, and measles.

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“There was a polio outbreak in Ukraine last year,” White said. “Ukraine was the last country within Europe to have a cholera outbreak in 2011, and that was in Mariupol. And as you are probably aware, Mariupol right now has significant issues around water and sanitation and an inability to do your basic kind of daily activities around hygiene.”

Mariupol is a prominent target for Russian assaults and destruction.

“There’s also a risk of measles,” White said. “The baseline vaccination status was not particularly high.”

White also stated that she has heard of several physicians and volunteers testing positive for Covid-19 while in Ukraine, but that “testing capacity is minimal right now.”

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Last Monday, World Health Organization officials stated that as the epidemic proceeds, Russia’s invasion will have an impact on the spread of coronavirus.

“Certainly, there’ll be a rise in Covid-19 within the population within Ukraine, without a doubt, because not testing, without access to treatment, with vaccinations stopped, and there’s already low vaccination — I think about 34% or 35% vaccination rate before the conflict,” Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said in a news briefing last week. “So, there are many people who still remain vulnerable to infection.”