GENEVA/NEW YORK, March 9, 2022—Kate White, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency manager, released the following statement today following reports that a hospital was attacked in Mariupol, Ukraine:
We are horrified to hear reports that a hospital complex including a maternity ward in Mariupol was struck in an attack today. While we can’t confirm that this was a targeted attack, we know from our staff that houses and hospitals have been damaged during the fighting over the past days. With active shelling, gunfights, and aerial bombardment in Mariupol ongoing, seeking health care has become increasingly hard, especially for expecting mothers and elderly people who are limited in their movements.
Attacks on health structures destroy what little capacity is left to treat urgent cases. In a city, where the health system is close to collapse, depriving people of much-needed health care is a violation of the laws of war.
People in Mariupol have been living through days of siege in agonizing conditions, and every new attack on civilian infrastructure adds to their utter desperation. It is imperative that civilians and civilian infrastructure including health facilities be spared from attacks, and people’s right to seek health care and safety be guaranteed.