CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has affected many lives recently, and Thursday, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) hosted a panel discussing the impact war and conflict plays in global health crises.

Scholars from war-torn countries say combat has a profound effect on global health.

“Most of the time when we talk about conflict,” panelist Samer Jabbour said. “The issues are raised concerning active conflicts, such as Syria, Ukraine or Ethiopia. But, we want to stress the fact that global health has an important role to play in conflict prevention.”

Oleg Palygin is an associate professor at MUSC from Ukraine. He says the recent conflict there has put many Ukrainians with severe health conditions in danger.

“The real shortage of medication,” Palygin said. “First of all the particular group of patients is the cancer patients since their medicine is quite expensive and most of their medicine is not manufactured in Ukraine.”

Mulugeta Gebregziabher from Ethiopia says it is heartbreaking to see the conflict in Ukraine, and he empathizes because his own country has been at war since 2020.

“Even though it looks like Ukraine, the deadliest war that is ongoing right now is actually the war on Tigray. There is weaponized starvation going on because there is a blockade of 360 degrees. A siege on this region,” Gebregziabher said.

The scholars say the best solution to combat these atrocities is by coming together as one.

“The concept of the global citizen,” Jabbour said. “This is where we can really make a huge difference in our world, whereby a citizen anywhere, is a citizen everywhere.”