UK-Med’s founder and Chair of the Board, Professor Tony Redmond OBE, is on his way to Ukraine where he’ll be visiting our extensive programming over the next two weeks.
Russia has stepped up attacks on civilian infrastructure in recent weeks, leaving thousands of towns without gas, electricity, or water. Ukrainians are being warned to brace for a brutal winter of missile attacks and blackouts as temperatures drop below freezing. Daily restrictions on electricity usage, including limited streetlights, are in place with fears of total temporary shutdowns.
With over 30 years of experience deploying to wars, refugee crises, air crashes, earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes, and disease outbreaks, Tony will be harnessing his experience of working in conflict zones to speak to staff and assess the work there.
“This is my first time deploying overseas into a conflict area since my spinal injury,” Tony explains.
“My term of office as chair of the Board of Trustees of UK-Med comes to an end in December, so this will be my final mission. I’m taking the opportunity to go to Ukraine and review what is now an extensive programme of work by UK-Med, discuss the team’s plans for the next six months of our work in Ukraine.”
Tony and the SMART team on their first international response, supporting Armenia after the 1988 earthquake.
Professor Tony Redmond and Dr Brendan Ryan in Iran, following the 1990 earthquake.
Professor Redmond’s 10-day mission will involve visiting hospitals and UK-Med’s health clinics, speaking with patients and with our team. The harsh winter, the millions of people living in inappropriate accommodations not meant for housing, the rise in infectious diseases and the continual attack and pressure on hospitals and health facilities mean the humanitarian crisis will worsen as fighting intensifies. We need to plan for the long term.
“It’s seven months into a conflict now and the adrenaline rush that kept many systems running is wearing off,” David Wightwick, UK-Med CEO explains. “We’re looking ahead to the upcoming winter, attacks on power supplies, attacks on civilian infrastructure – people are tired, their resilience is eroding.”
Having been responding to crises across the world since 1988, Tony Redmond says: “I can bring my experience of having done this in Sarajevo and bring the lessons we learnt over there, to here.”
“I’ll be taking the opportunity to say thank you to all our staff in UK-Med, both here in the UK who are the ones that enable us all to go out to these missions, but our staff in the country and our wonderful volunteers.”
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