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Ukraine emergency (14)

16 April, 2022

The UN General Assembly has a mechanism that allows it to provide military protection for Ukraine despite a Russian veto in the Security Council. The Ukraine army has too few troops available to protect its civilians.

Dear HIFA,

MCAI has been working in countries with armed conflict such as Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, and Sri Lanka for 27 years caring for pregnant women and adolescent girls, babies and children. We are calling for urgent involvement by the United Nations to prevent a massive number of future civilian murders and major sexual and physical assaults.

Examination of data from UNICEF's State of the World's Children revealed in 2019 a population in Ukraine of 44 million people with 421,000 births per year. Around 5% of these births will need emergency Caesarean section to address complications of the pregnancy and delivery without which they will die (around 21,000 in a year). Approximately 10% of all newborn infants require special medical care if they are to survive (42,000 in the next year). It is just not possible to care for such vulnerable women and babies in basements without electricity, light, warmth, and food. There are also many children with conditions such as cancer and other complex illnesses that need constant high level medical care.

Although additional military equipment has been provided to Ukrainian forces to try and stop the Russian invasion and other war crimes, there is such a major mismatch between the number of Ukrainian troops compared with those available to Russia and Belarus that without additional incoming international forces both on the ground and in the air (as a no-fly zone) MCAI cannot otherwise understand how the Ukrainian forces alone can protect civilians whilst doing its best to combat Russian incursions.

THE TABLE below presents World Bank data on military troops available to Ukraine compared with Russia +/- Belarus.



UKRAINE 311,000


BELARUS 155,000


After working with colleagues in Ukraine during the last 7 weeks, and because of the related request made 9 days ago in the UN Security Council by President Zelensky, please find a link below that explains what we hope will be undertaken as a matter of great urgency to address and overcome the continuing war crimes by Russia in Ukraine.


Have you any suggestions on how the messages in this link can get through before many thousands more civilians are murdered or tortured in this illegal war ? Is there any help you can give us by opening a debate on the issues raised in this link?

Look forward to hearing from you

David, Anastasiya and Rhona

Professor David Southall OBE, MD, FRCPCH and Dr Rhona MacDonald MBChB MPH MRCGP DCH DRCOG Honorary Medical Director, and Honorary Executive Director, Maternal and Childhealth Advocacy International MCAI, 1 Columba Court, Laide IV22 2NL, Scotland. director@mcai.org.uk

Twitter: @DavidSo925 WhatsApp +44 7944 632011 www.mcai.org.uk and www.ihpi.org

Registered as a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) No. SC043467

Dr Anastasiya Dumcheva, MD, MPH, LL.M, international expert and consultant on health policies, a.maherya@gmail.com

Twitter: @AnastDumcheva, WhatsApp +380975731795

HIFA profile: David Southall is a retired Professor of Paediatrics and Honorary Medical Director of the Maternal and Child Health Advocacy International (MCAI). www.mcai.org.uk David founded MCAI in 1995 and currently is directing a task-sharing programme in Liberia aimed at the training of midwives in advanced obstetrics (including abdominal surgery) and the training of nurses and midwives in advanced hospital neonatal and paediatric care. David's main interests include: medical education, approaches to healthcare based on human rights, sustained improvements in the emergency hospital care of pregnant women and adolescent girls, babies and children in disadvantaged countries, preventing the life-threatening abuse of children, and advocacy against armed conflict and the arms trade and its effects on mothers and children. director AT mcai.org.uk