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A year of war in Ukraine – a summary of our work

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A year has passed since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Among civilians, the most vulnerable to the effects of war are people with disabilities, the elderly, children, and pregnant women. It is also the year since Polish Medical Mission became involved in medical assistance in Ukraine, paying special attention to the needs of these groups.

Among the 18 million people who, according to the UN, are in need of humanitarian assistance, up to 15 million are people in need of medical assistance. These are often elderly people, people with chronic diseases, people with disabilities or pregnant women. These most vulnerable groups often have no chance of escaping to safer places: it is estimated that in areas close to the front lines, people over 65 now make up as much as 30% of the population.

My patients face basic chronic diseases: hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Under normal circumstances, they are easy to treat, but many of them now do not have regular access to basic tests, medicines, or consultations with a doctor. At the same time, they struggle with mental problems caused by the war – Bogdan Awramenko, a cardiologist cooperating with Polish Medical Mission.

Bogdan Awramenko, lekarz kardiolog współpracujący z Polską Misją MedyBogdan Awramenko, a cardiologist cooperating with Polish Medical Mission.czną.

WHO estimates that in regions closer to the front line, in the east and south of the country, up to 50% of medical facilities operate to a limited extent or do not function at all. Since February 24, there have been 802 attacks on hospitals and outpatient clinics. From the first days of the war to today, we have prepared over 130 transports with material support for over 50 hospitals in Ukraine, enabling their further functioning. There were also 5 equipped ambulances on site. In order to provide basic assistance to refugees reaching Poland, we ran border medical points for three months, where we conducted 1,562 consultations.

12 months of assistance from the Polish Medical Mission in Ukraine and Poland include:

  • Over 130 transports with supplies for over 50 hospitals in Ukraine.
  • 5 ambulances for hospitals in Ukraine.
  • Specialist equipment and medical training for the staff of 10 neonatal hospitals in Ukraine.
  • 3 medical first aid points at border crossings and reception centers in Ukraine.
  • 15,000 tetanus and diphtheria vaccines for Ukrainian patients.
  • Rehabilitation and sports camps for over 350 people with disabilities.
  • 9 cities in Poland where PMM runs Children-Friendly Spaces.
  • Over 1,000 psychological and therapeutic sessions for refugees in Poland

Given the special needs of neonatal hospitals and the increase in premature births during the war, we started a training program for medical staff and patients in 10 facilities across the country. They have also been equipped with the necessary life-saving devices, including infusion pumps and newborn resuscitation stations. Training for patients covers the topics of caring for newborn, patient rights, and the possibility of obtaining psychological support. More than 100 women have already benefited from them.

We continue the support program for refugees living in Poland, called Children Friendly Spaces. Psychological help, language learning, career counseling, and childcare – are the most important dimensions of support for a group of refugees, over 90% of whom are women. Thousands of hours of classes developing the interests of children and adults and over 1,000 psychological and therapeutic sessions took place in 9 cities in Poland.

Together with the “Jedna Chwila” Association, we run the Iron Help program for people with disabilities. As part of it, 350 people will be covered with rehabilitation and prostheses, both refugees living in Poland and those who remain permanently in Ukraine. Every day in the Poznań Iron Arena, they can develop their physical fitness during rehabilitation classes as part of 10-day camps.

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