23rd March 2022: Six NHS doctors and nurses fly from Manchester airport today to help set up a static and mobile health clinic in Drohobych, one hour south of Lviv.
The clinics, being set up in partnership with the Greek Catholic charity Caritas Ukraine will provide vital primary health care services to the 15,000 internationally displaced people – mainly women, children and the elderly – who have taken up shelter in this city of roughly 75 000, situated in Western Ukraine.
For many of the thousands fleeing from the east, Drohobych has become a major stop off point on the way to the border, while others are remaining there permanently. The UNHCR report there are now 6.5 million displaced people spread across Ukraine.
In Drohobych, fifteen schools have been converted into temporary accommodation. Currently there are good supplies of water and food, but with multiple families sharing what were once classrooms, the likelihood of infections spreading is high.
The healthcare needs in Drohobych
UK-Med’s Dr Freda Newlands, an Emergency Medicine Doctor from Dumfries and Galloway has been in Ukraine for over a week: “Imagine overcrowded dormitories, poor sanitation, no hygiene facilities and lack of laundry facilities.
“This is the perfect recipe for the potential spread of infection, so we hope to be able to provide primary care for them. There will be a need for the treatment of children with the usual childhood infections, ante-natal care, monitoring of chronic diseases and treatment of acute illness. UK-Med has the skilled experienced clinicians to deliver this care but we need to raise more funds to help us achieve this.”
Our team in Ukraine
The medics will join our existing team of nine humanitarian healthcare specialists who are already working across the country. A further three are expected to fly on Friday, bringing the total number of the team up to 18. Andrew Moore, a senior leader with extensive overseas humanitarian programme management and military experience is leading our team in Ukraine.
UK-Med CEO David Wightwick, who is also currently in Ukraine said:
“We’re proud to deliver primary health care to the desperate women, children and elderly fleeing their homes in the East, but who are still in Ukraine. As the conflict continues, many more people will be flooding across the country from war zones.
‘It’s essential we continue our health needs assessments in the West and Central areas of the country. UK-Med is committed to delivering healthcare to the people who have either been injured in the conflict or who are simply not well enough or have the means to make the journey across the borders.”
The difference your help is making
We have been overwhelmed with the kindness of our supportive community – in Manchester, from the UK, and around the world. These donations are making a difference right now: enabling us to be on the ground, working to provide medical and healthcare to where it’s most needed.
As the situation evolves, our response is evolving too. We’ll keep you continually updated with news from the ground and urge you to please keep supporting and sharing the appeal that makes it possible.
The situation is rapidly unfolding. If you are able to, please support us with a gift today and help our teams provide emergency health support.
Feature image: Dr Chris Mcintosh, ED Nurse Becky Platt, Dr Latif Hussain, ED Nurse Melanie Johnson, ED Nurse Paula Tobin as they fly from Manchester Airport on March 23rd. ED Nurse Lorraine Lloyd (not in the photo) also flew with the team.
“We’re proud to deliver primary health care to the desperate women, children and elderly fleeing their homes in the East, but who are still in Ukraine.”
– David Wightwick, UK-Med CEO