International Health Partners responds to the Ukraine crisis

Christian charity, International Health Partners (IHP) is responding to the escalating conflict in Ukraine with multiple shipments of Essential Health Packs (EHPs) to three in-country partners: Project HOPE, International Medical Corps, and Medical Teams International.

EHPs are pre-packed, portable kits filled with a range of essential medicines such as antibiotics and analgesics and enable the swift delivery of critical, reliable medicines in places where people wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain them.

IHP has sent an initial shipment of 45 EHPs to Project HOPE which arrived in Ukraine on 23 March. A follow-up shipment of 27 EHPs to International Medical Corps was collected on 25 March and 14 EHPs will be shipped to Medical Teams International shortly. Further shipments are expected to follow.

There was already a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine before Russia’s military incursion which began in the early hours of 24 February. Since then, the situation has deteriorated rapidly with intensifying hostilities across the country, civilian casualties, mass displacement, and major impacts on civilian infrastructure.

Essential Health Packs arriving in Ukraine with partner Project HOPE

“Primary healthcare almost doesn’t exist in Ukraine right now, and every day I receive medical needs lists from hospitals around the country which are rapidly running out of supplies,” said Chris Skopec, Executive Vice President, Global Health at Project HOPE. The situation is extremely complex and finding viable and safe transport routes into the country has posed the biggest challenge for the IHP logistics team. IHP is continuing to work closely with carriers and partners to navigate the developing situation and ensure the safe delivery of these medicines.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Health now estimates that 18 million people have been affected by the conflict, 12 million of whom are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. The number of people displaced by the fighting continues to rise, as well as the number of casualties. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have stated: “The most pressing humanitarian needs are emergency medical services, critical medicines, health supplies and equipment, safe water for drinking and hygiene, and shelter and protection for those displaced from their homes.”

Within Ukraine, the Ministry of Health has suspended all scheduled hospitalisations and elective procedures, to ensure that hospitals have sufficient capacity to manage conflict-related injuries. This is likely to have a devastating impact on the health outcomes of patients over the long-term and the conflict is compounding the risk to already vulnerable populations being forced to flee. More than two million Ukrainians, mostly women, and children, have now fled to other European
countries, with the majority going to Poland, and others fleeing to Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, and Hungary. These neighbouring countries are attempting to accommodate as many refugees as possible, despite concerns about healthcare capacity.

“It’s devastating to see the unfolding situation in Ukraine and the knock-on effects this is already having already on people’s health and wellbeing,” says Louise Hart, Programmes Director at IHP. “Echoing the World Health Organization’s statement, it is absolutely critical that the health system continues to be able to function and that essential medicines are able to reach hospitals and health workers safely,” she adds.

To donate to our Ukraine Disaster Fund please click here. Any excess funds received for this response will be used to facilitate responses to other emergencies.

For further information please contact Hazel Brearley at h.brearley@ihpuk.org or call (020) 3735 5489 www.ihpuk.org

Written by: Hazel Brearley

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