(PORTLAND, OR) December 6, 2022 – Temperatures below freezing. Rolling blackouts and water supply issues. Health infrastructure heavily damaged or destroyed across the nation. This is the reality for approximately seven million people internally displaced in Ukraine. Medical Teams International, a global humanitarian and health organization, is working with partners in Ukraine to deliver emergency mobile health care and basic supplies to battle the cold, such as generators, heaters, and blankets.

Medical Teams’ response is focused on providing support and access to medical and mental health services for internally displaced persons, refugees, and host communities affected by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Responding swiftly when the conflict began last February, the organization has established operations on the ground in Ukraine as well as in Moldova.

In 2022, Medical Teams has shipped 46 tons of critical medical supplies and equipment to Ukraine and Moldova. To distribute these supplies for maximum impact, Medical Teams has been working closely with two partners: the All Ukrainian Network PWLWH Kryvyi Rih City (Благодійна організація “МЕРЕЖА” м. Кривий Ріг) and City Help and Interaction Center (МІСЬКИЙ ЦЕНТР ДОПОМОГИ ТА ВЗАЄМОДІЇ).

In recent weeks, nine generators have been procured and will be distributed in Kherson Oblast starting this week. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Medical Teams has distributed nine generators to primary health care facilities (covering a catchment population of 107,422 people) and more are in the process of being delivered to other locations. These generators help provide lights and the ability to run medical testing equipment during power cuts. Medical Teams is also purchasing winter-specific, non-food items to be distributed by its partners.

As of November 2022, Medical Teams had supported 2,500 medical consultations with Ukrainians in conflict areas through its mobile medical teams. Additionally, nearly 1,400 internally displaced people and refugees received free medications in pharmacies supported by Medical Teams.

“Meeting the physical needs of those impacted by the conflict is an important objective, but just as important is addressing the acute mental health needs of Ukrainians across the country and in Moldova,” stated Dr. Trina Helderman. “Medical Teams is working to increase access to short and long-term mental health services and psychosocial support services. This includes individual counseling, group therapy, and self-care support for the helpers and volunteers supporting the vulnerable during this crisis.”

Medical Teams focuses on addressing the well-being of the whole person; therefore, it is prioritizing mental health for Ukrainians, while following its three-part strategy for this crisis response: 1) Medical Teams will continue to support local agencies that are responding to Ukrainians’ health and other basic needs, 2) Medical Teams will strengthen capacity of the local health system through mobile medical teams, establishing telehealth systems, and provision of pharmaceuticals, supplies, and equipment such as generators for primary health care facilities, and 3) Medical Teams will improve access to mental health and psychosocial support services for both affected Ukrainians and volunteers responding to the needs of others.

About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.

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Photo: Jana Čavojská