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Ukraine: MSF mobilises response in Ukraine and nearby countries

01 Mar 22

Ukraine: MSF mobilises response in Ukraine and nearby countries

Part of the first cargo of emergency kits being sent from the MSF Supply warehouse in Brussels to Ukraine. This first shipment is around 120m³ of material composed of surgical kits, trauma kits and other supplies to respond to various medical needs. Caption
Part of the first cargo of emergency kits being sent from the MSF Supply warehouse in Brussels to Ukraine. This first shipment is around 120m³ of material composed of surgical kits, trauma kits and other supplies to respond to various medical needs.

As hundreds of thousands of people are forced to escape, Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is working on setting up emergency response activities in Ukraine and deploying teams in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Teams are also ready to respond in Russia and Belarus.

As the conflict continues in Ukraine, MSF is dispatching teams to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia to assess the needs of people crossing borders and respond to humanitarian needs.

Teams are also present in Belarus and Russia ready to provide humanitarian assistance.

Preparing for a range of scenarios

In Ukraine, MSF teams have distributed war-wounded kits in Mariupol. We have also provided telemedicine training for trauma care for 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine.

At MSF's out-patient department in Batil refugee camp Gandhi Pant, a nurse, escorts a patient with a possible appendicitis to a waiting ambulance. 

Batil is one of three camps in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State sheltering at least 113,000 refugees who have crossed the border from Blue Nile state to escape fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLM-North armed group. Refugees arrive at the camp with harrowing stories of being bombed out of their homes, or having their villages burned. The camps into which they have poured are on a vast floodplain, leaving many tents flooded and refugees vulnerable to disease. Mortality rates in Batil camp are at emergency levels, malnutrition rates are more than five times above emergency thresholds, and diarrhea and malarial cases are rising.

Help us prepare for the next emergency

Our emergency teams have arrived at the Polish-Ukrainian border and are currently trying to get essential staff and supplies into Ukraine and set up emergency response activities across both sides of the border.

A food and clothing donation point at the Polish border town of Medyka, 28 February 2022. d Caption
A food and clothing donation point at the Polish border town of Medyka, 28 February 2022. d

Teams will also carry out assessments along Ukraine’s border with Russia and Belarus.

With active fighting ongoing, determining the true extent of medical needs in Ukraine remains challenging. MSF is preparing for a range of scenarios, which will allow us to step up our response.

Ukraine-Poland border

Our teams at the Ukraine-Poland border checkpoints are seeing people cross over on foot, in cars and on buses, many tired and exhausted, and some with children as young as 25 days old.

Many of those crossing the Polish border told us they spent long hours in queues in freezing temperatures. Some were dehydrated and others suffered from hypothermia.

We have donated basic shelter items to a reception shelter in Poland and are working to step up our response.

Can I donate to support MSF's work in Ukraine?

Thanks to the generosity of people like you donating to our general funds, we haven't needed to launch an appeal for our work in Ukraine and surrounding countries.

Please consider giving an unrestricted donation, which will give our medical teams across the world the valuable flexibility to respond as needs arise.

Visit the following page to learn more.

HOW WE SPEND YOUR MONEY

Please visit the following link should you wish to donate to our general funds.

DONATE

MSF in Ukraine

Prior to the outbreak of war in Ukraine, MSF had been working in the country since 2014. 

In Donetsk region, we worked with local volunteers, organisations, healthcare professionals and authorities to help people travel to healthcare facilities, access prescribed medications and raise awareness about common health challenges. 

Our teams also trained and supported family doctors and community nurses to offer basic mental healthcare to their patients. In Luhansk region, we ran a project focusing on HIV. 

Elsewhere in Ukraine, we worked to show that it is possible to successfully treat patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis through a combination of a short course of newer medications, psychological counselling and social support.

Sadly, on 25 February 2022, we made the decision to halt our activities, doing all we could to ensure some continuity of care for our patients.