With the catastrophic war in Ukraine destroying not only peoples lives but also the fabric of society, the population of the peace-loving nation of Ukraine is going to need all the support it can get.
To date, the generosity of the world’s population has been astonishing. Millions of people in Poland and the other neighboring countries have welcomed refugees into their homes. Members of the public right across the world have inundated the disaster charities with generous financial donations and many governments have acted together in their support for the Ukrainian people.
Spontaneously, communities, schools, and various places of worship across the European continent have organised collections of provisions, much of which is being transported in cars and vans to the border with Ukraine.
People have also sent all kinds of medicines, those that they have at home or purchased from their local pharmacy, those that they have sent together with clothes, food and toys.
However, most of these individual acts of generosity have been delivered to the Polish Ukrainian border in cardboard boxes and this has resulted in a pandemic of boxes which has been sweeping the border areas. It has become increasingly difficult to extract any medicines from such donations and even when they are, their origins are unknown and sadly many go to waste.
As the crisis deepens however, the casualties are needing much more specialist medication; that which is used in hospitals to treat the injuries of war. Hospitals treating the casualties need medicines that are available only from specialist suppliers and those which due to their nature must be stored and transported under optimum conditions. Many medicines for hospitals are found in infusion bags, others may be specialist medicated wound dressings; some must be maintained and transported at certain temperatures. Hospitals can only treat their patients with such medicines if they know that they have arrived through proper channels and for which the quality can be guaranteed, for only then will they know that they are safe to use on patients that need them the most.
Pharmacists across the continent of Europe have responded to the increasing calls for specialist help from Ukrainian hospitals by launching a centralised campaign. Led by their national pharmacists’ organisations, pharmacists are using their expertise around medicines to organize the sourcing, logistics and the safe delivery of specialist medicines to where it is most needed by Ukrainian casualties.
The campaign is working with Pharmacists Without Borders and other relevant charity partners to organise the initiative. Your donations will be used to purchase the required medicines centrally from the most appropriate suppliers and to deliver them to the Ukrainian hospitals. As the situation develops and if that critical need recedes, they will then be used to support the wider medicines related needs of refugees.
Additionally, when it is appropriate to do so, pharmacists who are already volunteering from all over the world, will be given specific training and sent to help in hospitals and refugee centres being established to support the humanitarian effort.
Working with the Polish and Ukrainian authorities, secure transportation has been established to get the specialist medicines across the border into Ukraine under the most optimal conditions. Their help will also assist with any necessary distribution route changes due to the nature of the situation. From the initial delivery destination of a military hospital, onward distribution to numerous other locations in Ukraine will then be made using appropriate hospital transportation.