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Ukraine

As hundreds of thousands of people are forced to escape war in Ukraine, MSF is setting up emergency response activities in Ukraine and deploying teams in Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Slovakia.

As hundreds of thousands of people are forced to escape war in Ukraine, MSF are setting up emergency response activities in Ukraine and have teams in Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Slovakia to assess the needs of refugees and affected populations.
 

Part of the first cargo of emergency kits being sent from the MSF Supply warehouse in Brussels to Ukraine. This first shipment is around 120m³ of material composed of surgical kits, trauma kits and other supplies to respond to various medical needs.

At the Ukraine-Poland border, our teams are seeing people cross over on foot, in cars and on buses, many tired and exhausted, and some with children as young as 25 days old. Many of those crossing the Polish border told us they spent long hours in queues in freezing temperatures. Some were dehydrated and others suffered from hypothermia. We have donated basic shelter items to a reception shelter in Poland and are working to step up our response.  

In Ukraine, we’re seeing a sharp escalation in the impact of war on civilians. In the east, where MSF have been supporting healthcare for the last eight years, our teams are report heaving fighting in the past few days and say the situation is dire. Some hospitals have been damaged and are also running short of essential supplies, including first aid kits.

MSF shipments have departed for Ukraine with trucks of medical kits, including surgical and trauma kits, vital chronic disease medications and mass casualty supplies. Our teams have already distributed trauma kits to hospitals in Kyiv, Mariupol, Kramatorsk and Pokrovsk and have also provided a telemedicine training for trauma care for 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine.

We want to do much more. Our teams are coordinating to donate several more kits as we work hard to get more essential supplies into Ukraine. 

Read more about our response in Ukraine and neighbouring countries

Donate to MSF’s emergency fund

24 February 2022: Burning civilian houses hit by a rocket in Mariupol, Ukraine. MSF has been working in eastern Ukraine for the last eight years, trying to improve access to health care for remote, conflict-affected populations.

MSF first worked in Ukraine in 1999. In May 2014, in response to the conflict, MSF began providing medical humanitarian support on both sides of the contact line through mobile health clinics and donations to healthcare facilities.

Read on for more information about MSF's work in Ukraine prior to the 2022 war. 

MSF supported hospitals on both sides of the frontline during the 2014-16 conflict 

Europe's second largest country, Ukraine – home to 44 million people – is a land of wide, fertile agricultural plains, with large pockets of heavy industry in the east.

Ukraine gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and has since veered between seeking closer integration with Western Europe and being drawn into the orbit of Russia.

 
 

In late 2013, political protests erupted as the Ukrainian government backed away from an association agreement with the EU. Violent clashes between police and protesters took place.

In February 2014, Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power and violent chaos ensued. By May, tensions between western-leaning Kiev and Russian-backed separatists plunged the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk into war.

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) first began working in the country in 1999. We are still responding to the ‘frozen war’ by treating the psychological effects. We are also providing care for tuberculosis (TB) patients in eastern Ukraine’s penitentiary system.

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MSF’s work in Ukraine: 2019

For five years, MSF mobile teams have provided basic healthcare and psychosocial support to people living close to the frontline in eastern Ukraine.  

As public health facilities in the country’s conflict-affected regions gradually resumed services, we began transferring patients to the Ministry of Health for treatment. By the end of the year, they were all receiving care in the public system.

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Hepatitis C 

In Mykolaiv, we support the Ministry of Health in diagnosing and treating people with hepatitis C. Patients are treated with the highly effective direct-acting antiviral drugs daclatasvir and sofosbuvir. In 2019, psychosocial support and health education helped improve adherence to treatment and combat stigma and discrimination. This new model of care has achieved a cure rate of 97.4 per cent. 

Drug-resistant tuberculosis

In 2019, the project we run in Zhytomyr in partnership with the Ministry of Health initiated operational research to demonstrate that an effective model of treatment for DR-TB can be implemented in Ukraine. It involves reliable diagnostics, psychological and social support, and newer, more effective all-oral drugs (bedaquiline and delamanid), which have fewer severe side effects.

Patients will spend less time in hospital and their treatment regimens will be shorter, lasting from nine to 12 months. MSF is also building a state-of-the-art laboratory in the TB dispensary, which will be the first in the region with such an advanced level of biological safety

find out more in our international activity report

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