The conflict in Ukraine is deeply concerning and our thoughts go out to Ukrainian people around the world. We understand the significant impact this will be having on our LSHTM community, especially our staff, students and alumni from Ukraine, or with family or friends there or in neighbouring countries.
We welcome and wholly endorse Universities UK (UUK) in working with the Home Office to ensure that the UK should be a welcoming destination for academic and student refugees. UUK are continuing to work with the Home Office on what further visa and immigration measures may be necessary as the situation unfolds, and we will feed into these discussions as necessary.
Professor Liam Smeeth, LSHTM Director, said: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has deeply shocked and saddened the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine community. Alongside our many staff and students, I am appalled by the loss of life and humanitarian disaster unfolding as a consequence of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.
“Innocent men, women and children are dying, families are being torn apart and the lives of millions of ordinary Ukrainian citizens destroyed. Our thoughts are with those affected and we hope and call for a peaceful resolution as soon as possible. The public health consequences will be catastrophic, not only for Ukraine but for its neighbours. They will be felt around the world and for a long time to come.
“LSHTM is dedicated to improving the health of people around the world. We are proud to have strong ties with Eastern Europe. For many decades we have worked with colleagues in the region to help the improve health of its citizens. LSHTM will find ways to work alongside our partners to provide support and assistance now, and over the coming months and years.”
Research on the conflict in Ukraine
Our academics have published several articles and statements highlighting the public health implications of the war in Ukraine. This has included an in depth look at the plight of older people in Eastern Ukraine and how this escalation is affecting their healthcare needs.
Other researchers are involved in volunteering to contribute key expertise. Dr Chris Jarvis, an Assistant Professor based in the CMMID, has been deployed to Poland, where he is working with MapAction – a UK based charity that deploys around the world to emergencies and provides information management and mapping support. His work is focused on logistics, helping to determine routes into the country, tracking what is going in and out, and mapping information that can be useful to help decision makers assess what type of aid is needed and how to deliver it.
There is a new a multi partner effort involving LSHTM researchers led by the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science (LCDS; University of Oxford) to combine aggregated and anonymised social media data with pre-conflict population estimates and refugee counts to estimate daily population sizes, demographics, and net changes sub-nationally. In addition, LSHTM, ARCTECH and the Global Vector Hub have carried out an assessment of the risk of vector-borne diseases.
These rapid response activities build on existing knowledge and work, for example the CHANGE project which looks at alcohol misuse and associated adversities among conflict affected populations in Ukraine and Uganda.
Support for students
If you are struggling emotionally at this time, or feel that the situation in Ukraine is affecting your studies, please remember that our Student Support Services team (internal link) are available and can offer one-to-one appointments via telephone, Zoom and other online resources. The team can also be contacted at email@example.com.
Support for staff
If you or your immediate family members are struggling emotionally at this time, our Employee Assistance Programme (internal link) is available to you. It offers free and confidential support, including counselling sessions and a range of support and self-help resources 24/7.
LSHTM is also a member of the Council for At Risk Academics (CARA), which works with universities across the UK to place academics fleeing conflict. More details about CARA’s work can be found on their website, including a page specifically about Ukraine.