Ukraine Crisis: Here Is What We Are Doing
As the war in Ukraine escalates, we want to be sure we are there for the Ukrainian people.
As in any war, it is civilians who pay the highest price. Whether it be victims of fighting, or the millions of people who are forced to leave the country in search of safety.
Our teams are currently working on several projects for the victims of the war in Ukraine: providing assistance to refugees in Moldova and Italy, and delivering medicine and medical supplies to hospitals in Kyiv.
How We’re Helping In Moldova
Since the beginning of April, we have been working in Bălți. Bălți is the second most populous city in Moldova. Here, an EMERGENCY team is providing primary medical care and psychological assistance to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe. It has received a high influx of refugeees.
Since the first days of the conflict, the country has immediately set up several reception centres to provide initial assistance, food and care for refugees, and to facilitate their transit to the countries they are headed.
In mid-March, an EMERGENCY team went to Moldova to assess the needs of the population and identify the best way for us to intervene in collaboration with the local health authorities.
Our Politruck is now in Bălți with a team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, cultural mediators and logisticians, all committed to offering health treatment and psychological assistance to around 200 refugees currently hosted in the reception centre, a number that could increase significantly in the coming days.
Among the first patients received by our staff, many are elderly people, women and children – mostly suffering from chronic diseases – for whom we ensure continuity of care.
“When we launched medical activities here in Bălți, our Mobile Clinic received mainly adult patients, often elderly people with chronic illnesses, and people in need of psychological support. Those that have fled the conflict are going through an extremely difficult moment of great emotional stress and anxiety. Anxiety about what will happen, anxiety thinking about their loved ones left behind in Ukraine, and also mental and physical exhaustion.”
Andrea Bellardinelli, EMERGENCY’s Migration and Emergencies programme
The Mobile Clinic
The Politruck is the largest of EMERGENCY’s Mobile Clinics. It is equipped with a waiting room, two outpatient clinics and a station for psychological counselling and mediation interviews.
Thanks to the mobility of the Outpatient Clinic, we will be able to operate in various places, and to scale up and adapt our response where it’s needed most.
How We Are Helping In Ukraine
We sent hospital supplies to Ukraine, based on tailored requests made by local facilities.
How We Are Helping In Italy
We are running several projects dedicated to people fleeing the war in Ukraine, and arriving in Italy.
In Milan, we provide them with social and health orientation services, including Covid-19 swabs performance, and food support.
In the Outpatient Clinics run by our healthcare programme, we are offering support in registering with the National Health Service and guidance on health and social services in the area.
“Our contribution must be effective. We must ensure our experience working in the midst of conflict is useful to those in need.
EMERGENCY wants to be there for the Ukrainian people.”Rossella Miccio, president of EMERGENCY
UPDATES FROM THE FIELD
An Update From Our Staff in Moldova.
27 JULY 2022
“In just a few days we managed to bring our Politruck over. This is our completely self-reliant mobile clinic. We also brought over a doctor, a nurse, a logistician and a psychologist, and got to work on what the Ministry of Health had tasked us with: setting up a primary healthcare service for the refugees arriving here in northern Moldova. When you are providing primary healthcare, your approach is essential – the way you interact with people who are putting themselves, vulnerable as they are, in your hands.”
Andrea Bellardinelli, EMERGENCY’s team in Moldova
10 JUNE 2022
Last March, Tetyana and her son Misha arrived in Moldova after leaving Odessa in Ukraine. 40% of the patients we treat at out Mobile Clinic come from that area. We are providing assistance to people fleeing the conflict.
Like so many other people we see at our Mobile Clinic in Moldova, Tetyana and Misha are just waiting for the war to end. So they can return home.
30 MAY 2022
10 MAY 2022
“There are recurring themes in the stories told by refugees here: the farewell to family members, to the men who stayed to fight. This is frequently accompanied by a sense of guilt for having fled.
“They often show us photos of their children, their home, their pets… thus starting the process of reconstructing the temporal continuity interrupted by the war, tying together that ‘before’ and ‘after’.”
EMERGENCY’s approach is multidisciplinary. Giovanna works alongside a mediator to welcome patients to the clinic, before listening to personal testimonies. She also works with the doctor during medical checks “precisely because we know that in emergency situations, the body often speaks and expresses emotions that we cannot yet express using words”.
Among the issues that often emerges during sessions is the inability to ‘turn off the brain’, to disconnect, even at night, thus hindering rest and the physiological processes of restoration and recovery.
When we discovered that she was a self-taught artist who paints, we gave her drawing materials. She had forgotten hers in the rush: ‘I never thought I could forget them,’ she said. She found relief when drawing.
‘This morning I already felt better before the session because I knew I had to prepare myself, that I had a commitment, and it had been a month since it happened: being able to tell my boyfriend not to call me for the next two hours, because I was busy, was a bit like recovering who I was before, finding myself and recognising myself,’ she told us the last time we saw her.”
During such a difficult situation, dominated by uncertainty, EMERGENCY’s Mobile Clinic aims to provide the crucial medical and psychological support that so many of those who have fled the Ukraine crisis need.
30 APRIL 2022
N. Only Draws Moving Cars and A House to Leave From.
He arrived here in Bălți, Moldova, after a three-day journey from Ukraine together with five of his six siblings. At the wheel is his mother, A.
When we visit her in our Mobile Clinic, she says she has a bad headache and wants to be sure it’s nothing serious: she has to be healthy and feel well to be able to look after everyone. She is tired, the journey has been “unspeakable”, and she is still carrying everything that she left with.
“I haven’t heard from my husband or son for three days. I broke the rule we made when we left: that they would look for us, that we should not call. But I couldn’t stick to it. I called and got no answer. I tell my children that I’m sure they’re fine. But I wonder how they can believe me if I can’t even believe myself.”
A. thanks us because she has found a “safe place” where she can cry and vent her anguish without fear of falling apart.
– Giovanna, EMERGENCY’s psychologist, is part of the EMERGENCY team in Moldova. At the Mobile Clinic, in Bălți, we offer primary medical and nursing care and a psychological support service to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
14 APRIL 2022
EMERGENCY’s Mobile Clinic is in Moldova to support communities fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Federica’s daily activities are supported by nurse Caterina. “We have drugs for acute problems, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, but also for chronic pathologies that we are seeing in the patients who come to our clinic.”
Caterina splits her role with Alexandra, a 20-year-old Moldovan nurse who has just enrolled.
06 MARCH 2022
We are in Bălți, the second most populous city in the country, which is now home to three refugee centres.
The goal is to provide primary medical care and psychological assistance to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Our Mobile Clinic is currently located in front a reception centre currently hosting 200 people, and is also available to all refugees being housed in private homes and other facilities.
Andrea Bellardinelli, head of EMERGENCY’s Migration and Emergencies programme, is on the ground: “When we launched medical activities here in Bălți, our Mobile Clinic received mainly adult patients, often elderly people with chronic illnesses, and people in need of psychological support. Those that have fled the conflict are going through an extremely difficult moment of great emotional stress and anxiety. Anxiety about what will happen, anxiety thinking about their loved ones left behind in Ukraine, and also mental and physical exhaustion.”
Video ©️ Davide Preti
As this crisis evolves, we are working with the Moldovan authorities to further strengthen our presence and services. We will be here as long as we need to be.
17 MARCH 2022
Our colleagues Gianfilippo, Maya and Adolfo show us the Politruck, the largest of our outpatients mobile clinics, equipped with a waiting room, two outpatient clinics and a station for psychological counselling and mediation.
11 MARCH 2022
Our Politruck, the largest of EMERGENCY’s Mobile Outpatient Clinics, has left for Moldova.
It will reach the ground to offer healthcare assistance to thousands of people – elderly, women and children- who are fleeing from the war in Ukraine. In this first phase of EMERGENCY’s intervention, our field team will provide nursing care, basic medicine and psychological assistance.
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9 MARCH 2022
From the Ukrainian border.
“We are in Moldova.
One of our first stops was Chisinau. The city is welcoming people in camps equipped for initial reception, the largest of which is a sports hall that can host about 800 people.
People seem to be in a good state of health but the elderly and chronically ill are facing difficulties in being able to follow their treatment, as always happens in emergency circumstances like these. Prevention from Covid-19 infection is a problem here in a population that is poorly vaccinated and living in close proximity.
EMERGENCY is working with the authorities to understand how to begin a health intervention involving our doctors, nurses and cultural mediators. The first step is to register EMERGENCY in Moldova in order to be recognised and contribute aid.
Meanwhile, we also went to two border posts yesterday, to see the arrivals’ situation. Palanca, the furthest border near Odessa, is 170 kilometres from the capital, and so far has been one of the main arrival points for refugees from the Ukrainian war.
Minibuses, cars, buses are all ready to take people to Chisinau or directly to Romania, Germany and Poland. Almost everyone leaves quickly, but the authorities have set up a small camp of about 300 people for people who still don’t know where to go or cannot make it.
7 MARCH 2022
An EMERGENCY team is on Ukraine’s borders with Romania and Moldova to assess humanitarian needs and evaluate potential projects to provide care to those affected by the conflict.
“We are assessing all possibilities for EMERGENCY’s intervention both inside and on the borders of Ukraine,” says Rossella Miccio, president of EMERGENCY. “Our contribution must be effective. We must ensure our experience working in the midst of conflict is useful to those in need.
EMERGENCY wants to be there for the Ukrainian people.”
Andrea is part of our team on the ground. He tells us that there is a sense of solidarity and significant presence of aid organisations, but “the flow of people crossing the border does not stop.”