WHO warns nations to stockpile medicines in case of nuclear war

The WHO warned countries should be prepared to deal with the "intentional uses of radioactive materials with malicious intent."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Thursday, the World Health Organization quietly updated its list of medicines countries should stockpile in the event of "radiological and nuclear emergencies." 

The list, which was last updated in 2007, includes drugs necessary to care for those exposed to harmful amounts of radiation.

"In radiation emergencies," explained Dr. Maria Neira, WHO Acting Assistant Director-General a.i, Healthier Populations Division, "people may be exposed to radiation at doses ranging from negligible to life-threatening. Governments need to make treatments available for those in need – fast. It is essential that governments are prepared to protect the health of populations and respond immediately to emergencies. This includes having ready supplies of lifesaving medicines that will reduce risks and treat injuries from radiation."

Countries were recommended to obtain and stockpile PPE, and trauma kits, as well as stable iodine, chelating sand decorporating agents, and cytokines, among other chemicals and medications.

In their list of potential scenarios that could require the use of such products, the WHO included emergencies at "nuclear power plants, medical or research facilities, or accidents during transport of radioactive materials."

Buried at the end of the list of potential scenarios is "intentional uses of radioactive materials with malicious intent." Nuclear war would fall into this category.

As the Daily Mail reports, the WHO's updated list was published just hours after the European Union suggested that Russia "is at war with the West."

Stefano Sannino, secretary general of the EU's External Action Service, declared that Putin had "moved from a concept of special operation to a concept now of a war against NATO and the West." His announcement came as allied nations continue to send tanks and other military supplies to Ukraine.

In response, the Kremlin suggested the West was engaging in "blatant provocation," and warned that Russia was capable of creating a "global catastrophe."

Many have cautioned against escalation, citing the potential danger it poses to everyone involved.

"When you're dealing with someone who has the ability to annihilate the entire world, you have to put that first and foremost," Jack Posobiec warned, suggesting that "it is not in anyone's interest to go to war with a nuclear power."

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