'Brink of collapse': MSF mission to evacuate the wounded continues in Ukraine

'Brink of collapse': MSF mission to evacuate the wounded continues in Ukraine
Credit: Belga

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Thursday took stock of its operations in Ukraine after 100 days of the war, Belga News Agency reports.

The humanitarian organisation has already transferred more than 600 people from the east to the west of the country. “The situation is worrying. Especially in the east where the teams are running out,” warns Christophe Stokes, MSF’s emergency coordinator in Ukraine.

The first train to transport injured civilians and vulnerable people left on March 31 from the east of the country to the Lviv hospital, on the Polish border.

“Before each trip, everything is prepared down to the smallest detail,” says Marie Burton, coordinator for MSF.

The transport of patients lasts 3 days. MSF, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and Ukrainian Railways are cooperating on the logistics. In fact, around twenty people accompany the MSF teams when they travel.

MSF can also count on the participation of young people and motivated people for these transports. “For example, we see many medical students, enthusiastic and determined to help their compatriots”, testifies Marie Burton.

The situation has deteriorated sharply over the past two weeks, according to MSF. So much so that hospitals on the outskirts of Donbas in eastern Ukraine are understaffed and facing further shortages. “The eastern Ukraine health system is on the brink of collapse. Barely ten to fifteen per cent of the medical staff have remained. People are exhausted,” stated Stokes.

Moreover, their colleagues in the west of the country are beginning to find themselves in great difficulty as well.

The Lviv hospital is beginning to oversaturate when it is one of the largest in Europe. To be able to accommodate the continuous flow of patients, it is now necessary to look for other hospitals nearby.


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