29 January 2024

Ukraine: more mobile clinics on the front line

Continuous attacks on medical facilities in Ukraine mean that the country is unable to provide its citizens with efficient access to medical services. This especially applies to towns close to the front line - that is why six months ago, in cooperation with FRIDA Ukraine, we launched mobile clinics in the Kharkiv region. In response to patients' needs, their activities will now significantly expand.
The Polish Medical Mission runs many projects helping people in the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. One of them are mobile clinics, which started operating in August last year. So far, qualified medical staff have been driving around the Kharkiv Oblast in two cars fully equipped with medical equipment. This type of aid has worked very well in the war-torn lands beyond our eastern border. Due to the reported needs, medics' activities will be expanded in the coming months. The third mobile clinic will undertake its mission in the Sumy Oblast, and in addition, a mobile laboratory will be made available to those in need, which will help with extended diagnostics of patients.
  • In the towns where our clinics go, the clinics and medical points that previously existed there have disappeared - says Marcin Choiński, coordinator of the mobile clinics project on behalf of the Polish Medical Mission - Patients tell us that in times of war, doctors coming to their towns are their salvation. . A trip to Kharkov for basic tests is now like a trip to the other side of the world.
For some patients, visiting the clinic is the first opportunity in years to verify their health condition and adapt their treatment to the progressive symptoms of the disease. Doctor visits were made difficult first by the Covid-19 pandemic and then by the war. In the first stage of operation of mobile clinics, more than half of the patients were people over 65 years of age. The most common problems were neglected chronic diseases, hypertension, musculoskeletal disorders, and diabetes. Regular visits to smaller towns in eastern Ukraine enable the distribution of medicines and control of disease outbreaks that may appear and spread in the region.
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  • In addition to medical care, our patients also needed a simple conversation, and they often shared their life problems with doctors. Therefore, in addition to doctors, nurses and pharmacists, a psychologist will now also start working in Ukraine - adds Marcin Choiński.
The situation in Ukraine remains very difficult. According to UN estimates, in 2024 14.6 million people will need humanitarian aid there - every fifth of them is a child. Constant attacks continue to damage or destroy medical facilities, and reduced household incomes mean that people are also starting to save money on their health, e.g. by giving up the purchase of hard-to-find medicines.

So far, the mobile clinics of the Polish Medical Mission have covered a distance of 25,729 km, and their medical team has worked a total of over 3,520 hours during this time. Almost 5,000 patients received help.
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