The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it delivered more than 26 metric tonnes of insulin pens to Ukraine.
WHO distributed approximately 57,320 pounds of insulin pens (more than 370,000 total pens) to hospitals throughout Ukraine. It represents part of an effort to help those with diabetes in the country during the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
The organization said in a news release that estimates show more than 9% of Ukraine’s population is living with diabetes mellitus. It can cause costly and debilitating complications including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness and lower-limb amputations if untreated. The delivery of insulin pens aims to help those people improve their quality of life.
Hospitals in the Dnipropetrovsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Khmelnytskyi, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Rivne, Ternopil, Volyn, Zakarpattya and Zaporizhzhia regions are on the receiving ends of the effort by WHO. Donations were made possible with support from Novo Nordisk and the nongovernmental organization Direct Relief.
WHO said it is “making every effort” to provide vital insulin as soon as possible and in full to all patients, including children, who need the therapy. It said it needs a well-functioning logistics system to comply with the necessary storage and transport conditions, including cold chain.
“Access to insulin can save lives and prevent the development of disabling complications,” said Dr. Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative in Ukraine. “WHO is stepping up its efforts with the Ministry of Health to respond to mounting health needs throughout Ukraine. It is vital that access to insulin and other medicines is made available during these challenging times, as the coming months could test Ukraine’s health system as never before.”