The intense fighting has led to 5.9 million people leaving Ukraine and becoming refugees in Europe.* Within Ukraine, over 3.6 million people remain displaced by the war.**
As war continues across Ukraine and people flee, our teams are responding to a severe humanitarian crisis, both in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.
We currently have approximately 74 international and 567 Ukrainian staff working in response to the war in Ukraine. They work as medical staff (surgeons, doctors, nurses); psychologists; logisticians and administrators.
*United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, February 2023
**International Organization for Migration, January 2023
Our teams evacuate patients from hospitals close to the frontlines, including trauma patients, and refer them to hospitals through two medically equipped trains. One of the trains provides basic medical care, while the other is equipped to provide intensive care for patients with serious conditions. To date, the train has transferred a total of 3,727 patients.
MSF supports the emergency department and surgical and intensive care units with medical care at the Kostiantynivka and Selydove Hospitals in Donetsk, and hospitals in Kherson, where our teams mostly see trauma cases. We also developed an agile emergency response capacity in coordination with the authorities that aims at providing access to comprehensive healthcare for civilians when the frontline is moving.
We send donations of medical supplies and hygiene kits to medical facilities, and provide training support for emergency responses, managing a high influx of war wounded, decontamination, trauma, gender-based violence and mental health. We also provide emergency room and direct, hands-on surgical support. In addition, our ambulances transfer patients from facilities close to the frontline to hospitals further away from the fighting, where they can access the care they need. Some of the ambulances are equipped for intensive care support.
MSF mobile clinics provide basic healthcare services, psychological counselling and social services, sexual and reproductive health services, mental healthcare and health promotion. Our teams also contribute to the rehabilitation of healthcare facilities damaged during the fighting. Through these mobile clinics, we also provide medicines for people with chronic illnesses such as hypertension, asthma, diabetes, heart disease and epilepsy. We also refer severely unwell patients to hospitals, provide psychological first aid and mental health consultations, and distribute basic relief items.
Our teams provide mental health support through mobile clinics in areas where it’s hard for patients to access healthcare, particularly in rural areas and shelters for people displaced by the war. We also provide medical and psychiatric care in two care homes hosting patients with severe psychiatric and neuropsychological conditions. Our mental health services also include psychological counselling to war-wounded people and care for local healthcare professionals who experience burnout and stress.
We are supporting vulnerable people who have fled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in more than 40 shelters, and people who fled from Mariupol. In many areas across the country, we run mobile clinics that provide basic healthcare to displaced people, we distribute relief items (such as bedding kits, hygiene kits and food) and provide rehabilitation services in shelters. Our teams have also started working with boarding houses, which provide care to the elderly, people with disabilities, and abandoned children.
In the northwest of Ukraine, our tuberculosis (TB) project in Zhytomyr, which has been running for five years is coming to a close. At the end of November, the laboratory will be handed over to the Ministry of Health. However, in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, we are continuing TB activities, providing screening of suspected TB cases through mobile clinics.