The Russian invasion of Ukraine leads to catastrophic health impacts. So far, 5,381 civilian casualties are recorded, with 2,946 people injured. However, the actual numbers are probably much higher as there is much underreporting. Furthermore, an estimated 6.4 million Ukrainians are displaced internally without access to medicine and chronic care, the risk of infectious outbreaks is rising, and food shortages are emerging. On top of that, healthcare infrastructure is under attack, facilities are understaffed due to injured, killed, or fleeing healthcare workers, and medical supplies are limited as delivery patterns are interrupted. Therefore, there is an urgent and ongoing need for medical aid.
An organization providing help is Smart Medical Aid, co-founded by Iryna Rybinkina.
Rybinkina is a British-Ukrainian anesthesiologist, engaged to Jacco Veldhuyzen, a Dutch emergency physician and one of our AWLS and DMLS instructors. They just started working and living in New Zealand with two children when the war started. Rybinkina, born and raised in Kyiv to a Ukrainian mother and Russian father, felt obliged to return back home to provide help. Now she’s working in Lviv, Ukraine. She manages the organization, coordinates medical supplies, trains healthcare personnel, and helps with the evacuation of wounded children. Jacco performs a key administrative role for Smart Medical Aid back in the Netherlands. Outdoor Medicine supports them in their effort and donated €2.500,- for this reason. If you want to support as well, donations can be sent here.
Sources: The Lancet – Health impacts of the Russian invasion in Ukraine: need for global health action United Nations – Ukraine: civilian casualty update