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Ukraine

Why are we there?  

  • Healthcare exclusion
  • Armed conflict

Our Work 

2014

  • Over 600,000 people were displaced and 10,000 wounded during the intense conflict in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières provided medicines and supplies to health facilities receiving the injured in the capital Kiev.
  • While local doctors were able to cope with treating the wounded, they faced an acute shortage of medical supplies, so Médecins Sans Frontières donated medicines and materials for treating war-wounded patients to hospitals in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
  • As the conflict spread and intensified, Médecins Sans Frontières dramatically increased this support, and by the end of the year had provided enough supplies to treat more than 13,000 wounded patients in hospitals on both sides of the frontline. 
  • Throughout the conflict, hospitals were damaged by shelling, depriving people of medical care just when they needed it the most.
  • Following a Ukrainian government decision to withdraw all support for state services from rebel-controlled areas, pension payments were cut, leaving disabled and elderly people particularly vulnerable, and all banking services were blocked. In response to the difficulties people were facing to access basic healthcare, Médecins Sans Frontières started to expand its medical support to include those patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières teams also distributed more than 2,600 hygiene kits, including soap, dental supplies and towels, to people in Donetsk region who had fled their homes. In preparation for the harsh winter, Médecins Sans Frontières donated 15,000 blankets to hospitals and displaced people around Donetsk and Luhansk.

 

Treating the psychological effects of war

  • In March, Médecins Sans Frontières began to work with Ukrainian psychologists in Kiev, conducting training sessions and workshops on psychological problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress, and treating patients on both sides of the conflict.
  • From August, Médecins Sans Frontières psychologists started to run individual, group and family mental health sessions in several cities on both sides of the frontline in the east, educating people about emotional reactions following traumatic events, and teaching them practical tools to help cope with fear, anxiety and nightmares.
  • In addition, Médecins Sans Frontières psychologists trained local medical and mental health staff to improve their skills and avoid burnout.

 

Tuberculosis (TB) programme

  • Médecins Sans Frontières has been running a programme for people with drug-resistant TB within the regional penitentiary system in Donetsk since 2011.
  • Throughout the conflict, Médecins Sans Frontières has made every effort to keep this project running and support patients to avoid treatment interruption. When heavy shelling made it too dangerous for the teams to reach the penitentiaries, they ensured the drugs were still available by delivering them to a safer location to be picked up by prison staff. 

 

For the latest news on where we work visit: http://activityreport.msf.org/

Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in the country since 1999 and at the end of 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières had 71 staff in Ukraine. 

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