AGI – It is estimated that in the last two months, more than 63,000 children have been born during the conflict in Ukraine and under conditions that may have a permanent impact on their mental health. According to Save the Children These infants add to the millions of children who are at greatest risk to suffer severe physical harm and lasting psychological trauma caused by violence, deprivation and displacement, which since last February 24, the date of the escalation of the war, and with the increase in fighting in the eastern part of the country, hit Ukraine.
The escalation of the conflict has caused the largest and fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II, with five million people already fleeing Ukraine. At least two-thirds of the country’s 7.5 million children have had to flee their homes, and more than 450 children have been killed or injured.
Save the Children stresses that the intensification of the war “also meant seeing 63,000 newborns in difficult situations that could have permanent consequences for their lives. New mothers try to bond with their babies despite severe mental illness they experience. This can cause negative and sometimes permanent effects on babies’ attachment to their mothers and their subsequent development. Medical staff have also reported an increase in the number of premature babies. “
The organization once again demanded “an immediate end to the war as the only way to protect children from physical and mental harm”. Furthermore, he stresses that it is “the only way to reach safely the 12 million people throughout Ukraine who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, which is crucial to their survival: we know that stress can affect a mother’s ability to whether it is due to hormonal changes or lack of self-confidence.It is clear that being in a war zone causes a huge amount of distress, which can have a serious impact on the body both physically and mentally, i.a. potential impairment of the ability to produce breast milk. Stress can also prevent mothers from recognizing and meeting their babies’ needs. “
“One of the most important aspects of a parent-child relationship is attachment, and when that bond is lacking, lifelong developmental problems can arise in children. Attachment disorders are some of the most serious mental health issues we face. Address: The development and growth of our brains are actually based on a healthy attachment to caregivers, “says Morgan MacDonald, mental health and psychosocial support consultant for Save the Children at the Emergency Health Unit.
“Supporting mothers to try breastfeeding can actually be a life-saving intervention. But the fact that we are seeing this happen is incredibly alarming, ”Morgan MacDonald concluded.
Save the Children staff are already witnessing the psychological and emotional consequences of the impact of the war on children and are conducting a needs assessment that identifies psychological support as a top priority in the effort. Staff and partners in Ukraine reported that children arriving at reception centers are showing alarming signs of deep unrest.
A child psychologist in Zaporizhzhia, east-central Ukraine, told the story of a nine-year-old boy who arrived with grenade wounds in his leg but was so distressed that he did not allow the medical team to approach him for treatment. In the same reception center, I’m sometimes right children to take on the role of parentlike the episode of a five-year-old girl reassuring her mother who was panicking after losing her phone.
“Unfortunately – the organization points out – in Ukraine, the staff and volunteers who support the people who fled their homes are also involved in this war and are experiencing signs of exhaustion.” “Unless this war ends, more than 63,000 new lives are at risk of death, injury, physical and psychological trauma. At the same time, we know that children with the right conditions and the right support have an extraordinary capacity for resilience. Can allow them to catch up the neglected, “said Pete Walsh, director of Ukraine for Save the Children,” without a political solution to this crisis, this number will continue to grow. When too much is too much. This war must end so that children have the opportunity to recover and no longer have to live these unimaginable experiences ”.