How do we support Ukraine

Medycyna Praktyczna, March 15, 2022

In this time of Ukraine’s dire need many people, guided by their hearts’ compassion, want to provide help. Poles won’t idly look at misfortune – they want to react. The ardour and commitment have exceeded all the expectations.

For action to be effective, proper planning is required, and this takes time. Since the first day of the Russian military aggression in Ukraine many of us felt that time is what we don’t have and that simply starting helping is needed. The humanitarian aid has been and is being provided in a number of ways. Each day we are looking into the current needs and doing our best to react promptly. Each day is bringing concrete lessons, which enable the crafting of the more and more well thought-out scenarios and plans, to reach the right places with aid targeting specific needs.

It is impossible to overestimate how much actions supporting Ukrainian hospitals and emergency medical units operating within the zone of the military aggression are needed. Aid in this respect is mainly administered by the government institutions. However, even with the best coordination of efforts, the Polish and international aid action will not be sufficient in the dynamically evolving situation in Ukraine. A centralised aid plan requires an enormous amount of work on the part of the Ukrainians, aiming at the most efficient distribution of supplies to respective hospitals and emergency medical units.

Our charity fundraiser has been initiated right after we had received the first requests for help from particular hospitals. We did not want to wait, the situation called for immediate action. In spite of the time pressure, a scrupulous analysis of specific needs, consultations with Polish specialists, and verification of alternative supply sources have been conducted. From the medical viewpoint, we decided to consider care for the wounded in battlefield conditions a top priority, closely followed by wound care in hospitals and their operating theatres, which need to be properly equipped to save human lives and health. Problems with distributing medical supplies in the face of ongoing war are obvious; hence, in agreement with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, we prioritise addressing the needs of hospitals in which there are shortages in government supplies. We verify the requests from the perspective of medical priorities, and follow up by looking into the problems with receiving the needed appliances and materials from the main supply chain. Afterwards we collect the needed equipment from in-kind donations, and buy the missing items as needed. We send dedicated transports directly to the hospitals in need. Our efforts complement those by government organisations. The aid provided is specifically targeted and interventional, its aim being to address the most pressing needs until local problems with distribution are solved.

We are sincerely grateful for all the support provided by our donors.
Anna Zawiślak
Coordinator of collection for hospitals in Ukraine
Institute for Emergency Medicine
ul. Tadeusza Rejtana 2, 30-510 Kraków, Poland

Oleh Yakovenko, chief physician of Novovodolaz'ka Tsentral'na Likarnya in the city of Novovodolaha, Kharkiv region; Oleksandr Kudatskyi, driver

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