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May 2: Ukraine Update

May 2nd, 2022|Comments Off on May 2: Ukraine Update

By Lina Knutsdatter Thingstad ~ Hands On Global Team Leader Last week we were, as usual, at different shelters in Chernivtsi ~ all the way up to the Carphatian mountains, close to the Ivano-frankivsk region. [...]

UKRAINE CONFILCT

May 5, 2022
Thank you for your generous donation in support of the people of Ukraine. I have returned from a month working in Ukraine. Hands On Global Team 2 is continuing on the ground and Teams 3 and 4 are in preparation. We intend to remain in Ukraine until this terrible war ends and then will bring in a team to provide more complex medical care.

Hands On Global is working directly with the Minister of Health in Western Ukraine in the city of Chernvitzi. The team is providing primary medical care to the internally displaced people (IDPS). There are currently over 60,000 IDPS in Chernvitzi alone. There are 37 official shelters and many unofficial shelters. These are located in various schools, school dorms, re-opened old hospitals, churches, sports stadiums, etc.

Our team is assigned a shelter everyday where we set up our mobile clinic. Currently we are the ONLY NGO going into the shelters to provide medical care in Chernivitzi. It is a heart wrenching experience – hearing the stories of bombs falling, destruction of homes and communities, the evacuations, the separation from loved ones, the agony of having left behind the elderly and disabled who are unable to evacuate, the leaving of husbands, fathers and sons required to stay and fight.

And then there is the physical toll. We provided primary care and medications. People with chronic health conditions are unable to get their medications and we are able to provide these. Many people had to flee so quickly and were unable to bring their medications or prescriptions with them. The supply chain into Ukraine is broken resulting in a critical medication and medical supply shortage. There are many people with cancers now unable to get chemotherapy. People are unable to have routine surgeries. Hospice patients have no end-of-life pain support. We also treat viruses, infections, insomnia and STRESS. Our team does a lot of hugging and hand holding, supporting these people.

Our team has met two Ukrainian MDs from Kyiv. They have been working with our Team for 10 days. They will be returning to Kyiv very soon. They have been a source of valuable information on the conditions at the front line. Hands On Global will stay in contact with them and when peace comes we will use them as a resource and collaboration to bring more complex medical care to front line areas.

Currently Hands On Global continues with teams on the ground. We estimate the costs to be approx. $10,000 – $12,000 a month. The hotel for the team is $3,500 a month for 5-6 members, $8,000 – $9,000 for medication and medical supplies and a small stipend for the Ukrainian driver that drives the team to and from the border 6 days a week. We are all volunteers. No one is paid. Our airfare is paid by the humanitarian group AIR LINK. We buy our own food. Hands On Global will continue being on the ground as long as we can. We are preparing for a more complex service medical team when peace comes. We hope that is soon.

All of our work is possible because of your financial support. Hands On Global thanks you profusely. There is such a great need and YOU enable us to provide critical medical care to those in need. We promise to continue our work – hand to hand and heart to heart. Please continue to support this work.

Thank you,
Valerie Hellermann, Executive Director

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Contact Valerie for more information: valerie.handsonglobal@gmail.com