Medical evacuation trains
On April 1, 2022, MSF completed its first medical train referral, taking nine patients who had been wounded in or near the besieged city of Mariupol from hospitals in Zaporizhzhia to hospitals in Lviv. They were transported on a two-carriage train equipped as a basic hospital ward, accompanied by a team of nine MSF medical staff.
We are now using a larger and more highly medicalized train. So far, we have completed 22 referral trips, mostly taking patients from hospitals close to front lines of the war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. We have also evacuated seriously wounded patients from Kharkiv and babies and children from an orphanage in Zaporizhzhia. A total of 594 hospital patients have been medically evacuated to date, along with their family members, in addition to 78 orphans. Further medical referrals are planned as urgent requests from hospitals in the east continue.
In Kyiv we are running a telephone hotline for survivors of sexual violence and domestic violence, offering confidential consultations and delivery of medications to prevent HIV, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy in Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts. We are also following up with more than 1,000 patients with noncommunicable diseases, mainly elderly and vulnerable individuals. Volunteers help us deliver medications to patients’ homes.
On the outskirts of Kyiv, our teams have been working alongside Ukrainian doctors to restart medical care in Hostomel after it was devastated by weeks of intensive fighting. We are helping to provide primary health care as well as mental health care to address the psychological consequences of the war.
In the early days of the war an MSF surgical team conducted mass casualty training and hands-on war surgery training in a pediatric hospital and provided mass casualty training for five other hospitals. In Bila Tserkva, about 50 miles south of Kyiv, we have identified a hospital that specializes in surgery where an MSF team is leading a two-day training on managing a mass influx of casualties. We continue to donate medical supplies to health facilities in Kyiv oblast.
MSF is focusing on elderly and internally displaced people who suffer from chronic diseases, through mobile clinics and home-based care in Fastiv, Makariv and Borodianka. We also provide training to local health facilities.
An MSF team is donating medical supplies, carrying out trainings for health workers and first responders, distributing relief items to displaced people and providing mental health consultations. We have started supporting a maternity hospital to make health services more accessible for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence by providing transportation and paying for medications.
An MSF team based in Kryvyi Rih is helping a hospital near the southern front line to develop its emergency room and increase its capacity for responding to mass casualties. The team also delivered donations to areas of the Kherson region that were recently retaken by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Mykolaiv and Odesa
To help Ukrainian health facilities cope with a potential influx of injured people, MSF teams have trained hundreds of medical doctors and nurses to triage patients according to the severity of their injuries. This step is essential to ensure that patients are treated appropriately in an emergency situation.
In Mykolaiv MSF is also funding the work of local volunteers who bring medical and logistical equipment in and out of the besieged city.
We are running mobile clinics in several villages in Chernihiv oblast, providing outpatient consultations, treatment for noncommunicable diseases, and mental health consultations. We continue to donate medical supplies to health facilities and are working to reach patients in Chernihiv oblast through our hotline in Kyiv for victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
In Kharkiv we have phased out most of our mobile clinics in metro stations now that many people are no longer sheltering there. We have started running mobile clinics in other areas of the city. We recently donated medical devices to Chuhuiv General Hospital and relief items to a dormitory and a sanitorium that are hosting displaced people.
Outside the city, we are conducting assessments and running mobile clinics in remote villages in Kharkiv oblast. We continue to work with volunteer networks to reach people in need, donating food and relief items to selected groups with a focus on villages outside the city. We are also continuing to make donations of medical supplies to small health posts and facilities in remote villages.
We recently launched a new hotline for Kharkiv city and oblast to respond to ongoing needs for medications and online medical and psychological consultations. We will collaborate with a volunteer network to distribute medications from our warehouse to people’s homes.