Hospital on wheels: how doctors help people in de-occupied territories
Mobile doctors is a project that helps residents of territories liberated from the occupiers have access to professional medical care and simple medicines. We will tell you how it works.
What is the problem?
Residents of the de-occupied territories face a considerable number of problems. Destruction of homes and critical infrastructure, lack of communication and usual connections with the rest of Ukraine, issues with the supply of products, the area looted by the occupiers… This is just a small list. Among these problems is the lack of medical care and even access to medicines in pharmacies. Everyone needs the presence of doctors nearby — the elderly, children, and just adults. But what to do if there is no hospital or even a pharmacy? Rubryka tells about a mobile solution.
What is the solution?
This October, volunteers of the charity foundation DyvoYUA launched the Mobile doctors project, within the framework of which they conduct free medical examinations of people in the territories liberated from the aggressor. In addition to high-quality diagnostics and medical consultation, Ukrainians can also get the necessary medicines free of charge, provided to the project by the pharmaceutical company Farmak.
How do mobile doctors work?
Doctors arrive in settlements affected by the occupiers in a special vehicle. A huge truck was converted into a mobile laboratory, an ultrasound room, and a pharmacy.
"We are an association of doctors and nurses who will treat and are currently treating people in the de-occupied territories. These are Kyiv Oblast, Sumy Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, Kherson Oblast, Luhansk Oblast, etc. We want to be the first to come and meet with these people because it is not enough to win; it is important that we survive this war in as large a group as possible," says Oleksandr Bukhtiyar, a member of the Supervisory Board of "Mobile Doctors."
The first village where the doctors on wheels went was the village of Moschun in the Kyiv region, one of the most affected by the russian military. Here, in the local club, residents were able to run tests, examine internal organs and, after a consultation, receive medication.
Doctors say that among the locals, many have chronic diseases. Problems with the heart, blood vessels, diabetes — all these require a doctor's presence in a person's life. At the same time, no hospital or even a pharmacy was left in Moschun. The nearest settlement where all this is available is Hostomel.
Maryna Kotova, one of the project volunteers, tells the story of a resident of the village of Moshchun who came to "Mobile doctors" to undergo an examination and receive medicine. When the woman was registering for an examination when asked whether she was injured during the occupation, she said:
"Yes: explosive injury, shrapnel wounds, contusion… And my husband… was torn apart on the spot, in front of my eyes. The house almost did not survive." Then the woman added that she continues to live there anyway: "A week ago, at night, when I was sleeping alone in my half-destroyed house, the ceiling fell on me. Apparently, after the destruction and the rains, it couldn't withstand it, and I woke up at five in the morning under the rubble on the floor. I don't know how long I lay there and woke up from the cold. They got me out from under the rubble. I miraculously survived."
There are many such stories in the liberated territories.
"Mobile doctors" are not going to limit themselves to the current geography of their visits but note that how far they will be able to travel with medical help depends on the support of the project:
"It is important to understand that the number and geography of departures will also depend on the involvement of Ukrainian businesses in the lives of the affected communities in which they are represented. "Mobile doctors" will apply for fundraising to large national companies and international foundations that support medicine in Ukraine to provide medical assistance to as many Ukrainians as possible," says Oleksandr Bukhtiyar.
How to undergo the examination?
To undergo an examination in a mobile laboratory, a person simply goes to the converted truck and makes an appointment with a doctor. A medical card is drawn up for each patient. The doctor conducts initial communication and directs the person to undergo tests. In just a few hours, the test results are ready, and the therapist can prescribe certain medications that are given to the patient free of charge.
"Depending on the community where we will go and understanding the needs of the people who have stayed in this territory, we form our number of personnel. We have a permanent staff – this is the project's chief doctor, who monitors the entire medical part. A head nurse supervises all the nurses so that everything is done according to medical standards. There is a chief ultrasound specialist who diagnoses internal organs in this truck. And there is a chief laboratory technician. This is the person responsible for all the equipment to check the blood, urine, etc. tests on the spot," Oleksandr Bukhtiyar explains.
What medicines can be obtained?
Ukrainians receive medicine free of charge after consulting a doctor. Medicines for the project at this stage are provided by the pharmaceutical company Farmak. According to Yevhenia Piddubna, director of corporate communications, the company was invited to join the "Mobile Doctors" project, as it can provide a complete set in all therapeutic areas.
"We immediately agreed to support this extremely important and socially significant project. Access to medical services and medicines is one of the basic human needs. Yes, the only pharmacy in Moschun is empty and broken, so we provided the organizers with cold medicine, cough medicine, vitamin complexes, sedatives, and prescription drugs used to treat more serious diseases. If necessary, we will add other drugs and continue to support this project," Yevhenia comments.
And while the Armed Forces of Ukraine are liberating more and more Ukrainian land and returning Ukrainians from occupation, Mobile Doctors continue their work, helping residents receive the necessary assistance. You can support Mobile Doctors by contacting them on their Facebook page.