The horrible damage made to the health of the Ukrainian refugees

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Danielle Mbamba, a third year medical student at Université des Montagnes in Cameroon. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

When news of the Ukraine-Russia conflict reached the ears of the whole world, no one expected it to grow as it is today, no one expected so much damage in material, human, economic and demographic terms. No one expected that a collateral damage would lead us to ask ourselves an essential question.

Which one? It is simple, to preserve their lives, people have had to move from their homeland and become refugees elsewhere, but what happens when a right as fundamental as the right to health, this indispensable, vital, logical and legitimate right seems questionable? Why does the question arise?

First, by simple logic, the various governments set up systems calibrated for their population, systems specific to their crops to be able to meet the needs of the population, but if it happens that the populations themselves cannot always have access to health care, what about the refugees whose legitimate right is being added to the equation?  Finding a solution will be complicated

Moreover, it is true that as a human being everyone has the right to health but what happens when this right threatens that of those who were already there? 

Apart from our good will, there are certain circumstances and maybe sociopolitical reasons that we do not know or either understand because there’s no smoke without fire It’s important to notice that the fate of this right in the face of certain injustices that have been pilling for far too long will be hard to maintain due to a simple claim quite yet legitimate it requires far too much thought to which one could obtain tons of different points of view.

If the right to health is already a problem for the millions of refugees around the world resulting from different conflicts born before the one from which Ukrainian refugees come from, the question would be to ask what is going wrong? what prevents international cooperation from being effective? what prevents states, in their individual roles from meeting the health needs of their population and those from elsewhere.

The understanding of this issue would then give rise to new opinions on this subject that will lead to ultimately redundant debates because it no longer involves only the right to health and refugees, but also the duties of health workers, governments and organizations.

In the end, it is time to go back to basics: apply what is possible to as many beneficiaries as possible, in case of lack of misunderstanding or even conflict of interest, sit down and discuss, put the problem on the table, give the floor first to the concerned because in any diagnosis the anamnesis represents a centerpiece that will help to find the appropriate treatment.

The world is going badly but its disease is not incurable, the right to health is fundamental and is expressed as far as possible and if not, a discussion is always necessary to find the common ground this will make us say Eureka! we have found the solution.

About the author

Miss Danielle Mbamba is a third year medical student at Université des Montagnes in Cameroon, she is a member of CAMSA and her primary goal is to save lives and participate in her own way in eradicating the inequalities in education and health rights that plague the world. She spends much of her free time at reading but also to writing which is for her a landmark in this world far too digitized.


  1. After a few minutes I read this article there are some things that I am not clear on what the sentence means if it can be explained in another article

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