Ukraine War Should be Averted: The Impact of War on Health in an Interconnected World



1 University of Lausanne, HEC Lausanne Faculty of Business and Economics

2 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th shocked the world. After so many peaceful years since the second world war, now there is a severe threat to humanity. Wars are the most horrible of incidents in the history of human nature; throughout history since the ancient era, wars have only been symbols of ruination and death. Estimating harms caused by war is challenging because its effect does not summarize the number of causalities or destroyed infrastructures.
The effect can be global in different aspects. First, the most apparent result of war is its causalities and the living situation of people in conflict areas. A couple of months after the start of the invasion, as of June 14th, based on OHCHR, 4452 civilians died, 280 of whom were children among them, besides 5531 injured civilians (1). As of June 21st, about 5 million people fled the country, and many more fled their homes and relocated to Ukraine’s borders (2).
Ukraine’s infrastructure is being destroyed in different sectors, including the health sector. On June 2nd, WHO reported 267 verified attacks on Ukraine’s medical facilities (3). The pressure on Ukraine’s medical sector is not only because of the destruction of medical facilities or war casualties but also because of the lack of medicine and drugs in conflicted areas. All this unjustified pressure on the medical sector will directly affect civilians' health. After the war and the official numbers' existence, the hidden death due to this war can be calculated.
However, the truth is that the world in the 21st in much more interconnected than one can think that a regional war’s influence will just be focused on the region of the conflict. In the nested global society that we have today, much of the medical research is done by collaboration between different countries. For instance, based on FDA’s clinical trial database, about 320 clinical trials in Ukraine are part of them (4). The war is in total jeopardy to these studies and even the safety of the patients in these studies. So this war can influence the health care system globally, but the influence of this war isn’t going to be finished at this level. Ukraine is one of the few regions worldwide that supply most grains. Recently Russians blockaded the Black Sea ports; exports are impossible for Ukraine. The estimations suggest that about 20 million tons of wheat are stalled in Ukraine’s inventory. World already faced an increase in grains price even before the start of the war, and this war is causing more problems in that matter, and this will affect the African countries the most. The increase in the price of grains makes them unaffordable for African countries, which can cause a food crisis in the world, as the director general of WTO urged on June 12th (5). The food crisis is another cause of severe health problems for humans globally, and at this moment, this war is fueling it.
To sum up, there are pieces of evidence that such an invasion can affect humans globally. In the 21st century, such an invasion is unjustifiable. Such a war can cause millions of people to suffer regionally and globally. Also, this war triggered a chain of actions and reactions, which may result in de-globalization. In this letter, we examined the effects of this war on people’s health regionally and globally. Nevertheless, the damages caused by such war will not be summarized with these few points, and only time will depict the actual hidden cost of such a catastrophe.

1. United Nations. Ukraine: civilian casualty update 14 June 2022 Acces Date: [Available from:
2. (UNHCR) UNHCfR. Operational Data Portal - UNHCR Acces Date: [Available from:
3. World Health Organization. One hundred days of war has put Ukraine’s health system under severe pressure (Date Published: 3 June 2022) Acces Date: [Available from:'s%20health%20system%20under%20severe%20pressure&text=Health%20workers%20moved%20their%20patients,during%20the%20cold%20war%20era.
4. Search of: Recruiting studies: Ukraine: Phase 4 - list results.
5. Espiner T. Ukraine war: Wto boss warns of global food crisis, Jun 2022 Acces Date: [Available from: