January 17, 2023—Following Saturday's missile strike on a residential building in central Dnipro, Ukraine, which killed at least 40 people, teams from the international medical organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have been providing survivors with medical care, psychological first aid, and essential relief items. In addition to those who died in the blast, at least 75 people were injured and around 30 people remain missing.
MSF was one of the first international organizations on the scene, and our teams continue to provide support to people affected. Immediately after the attack, residents were evacuated from the building. In the following hours, MSF ambulance teams provided on-the-spot treatment to people with minor injuries and transported those with more serious injuries to the hospital.
Meanwhile, people gathered in the street hoping to receive news of missing friends and relatives. Many were in a state of visible distress.
"Among those who approached me for assistance was a woman whose relative had died as a result of a blast wave while walking down the street when the attack occurred,” said MSF psychologist Yvhenia Kvyatkovska. “The woman was crying. She told me her relative was only 15 years old. I could see she was in state of distress and panic, which is a natural reaction to what happened."
"The situation is very tough,” said MSF field coordinator Ivan Quentin. “When we first arrived, there were lots of people on the scene and extensive damage. First responders and excavators were carefully removing the debris. A degree of panic was very noticeable on the faces of everyone around."
MSF brought in two full medical teams, including psychologists and health promoters. "We set up two mobile clinics to provide patients with warmth and privacy," Quentin said. "The medical teams have been providing medical consultations and psychological first aid."
MSF has coordinated with the Ukrainian Red Cross to distribute kits of relief items through their volunteers and used their tent to direct people to our mobile clinics. "So far we have conducted more than 100 medical consultations," Quentin said. "Our mental health activities are ongoing. We will stay in the location for as long as we are needed."