Public and international organizations are joining forces to address the health problems of Donbas and IDPs
16:27 / 19 Jun. 2015 / 487
Nowadays, only 170,000 IDPs from Donbas have been registered in local hospitals. On the assumption of the fact that the total number of displaced persons is more than 1.3 million people, 86% of IDPs are still without proper supervision of medical workers. It was claimed by Elena Petryayeva, the head of the initiative “Restoring Donbas” during a round table on June 18.
The event was dedicated to the problems of medicine in Donbas and the rights of IDPs to health. There were invited representatives of public community, staff members of “Doctors without Borders”, UNICEF, UNDP, the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada, Ministry of Health and sanitary-epidemiological service.
“Displaced persons feel real lack of information. Moreover, the Ministry of Health has frozen the section with information for IDPs on its website. They have to receive all relevant information from non-government organizations. Elena Petryayeva emphasized that Ministry has to coordinate its information policy in order to inform displaced persons about their rights to assistance.
She also noted that nowadays in Ukraine there is no effective mechanism for assistance to displaced persons, who are chronically ill and seriously ill. This leads to the failure of prevention of cardiovascular, socially dangerous (including tuberculosis) and cancer diseases.
Ekaterina Bulavinova, another participant of the round table, UNICEF consultant on medical issues, added that the question of vaccination is particularly important for IDPs.
“We need maximum contact with the regional health departments to calculate the needs of vaccines in these areas. The representative of UNICEF said: “It is extremely important to take into account the number of persons, who require vaccination in the regions”. She also stressed that the lack of medical cards should not be a problem for obtaining the vaccines.
The situation with the health sector in Donbas became another essential issue. According to the data, which was presented by Elena Petryayeva at the roundtable, the number of doctors in the Luhansk region reduced by 7 times, and in Donetsk – by 4 times during the war in the East of Ukraine. Ambulatory and hospital network fell by 2-4 times in the region. Transport logistics of emergency medical care was completely disrupted due to the reduction of the number of health care facilities. The state of the medication’s availability is critical.
There are plethora problems with the health care on territories, which are beyond the Ukrainian control. According to Irina Aheeva, the Director of Department of Policy and “All-Ukrainian Network of PLHIV” Communication, nowadays there is a serious threat of infection’s and epidemic’s outbreak.
At the same time, Nana Tsanava, medical coordinator of “Doctors Without Borders” accentuated that the new procedure for crossing the ATO border, which was presented by Security Service of Ukraine on 16 June, limits human rights to medical assistance.
“We have serious problems with the delivery of medicines to the uncontrolled territories … Medicines and medical equipment are fixed in the list of items, which are prohibited to transfer (points 35 and 36)… Everyone has the right to medical assistance. It turns out that we are attacking this right. It threatens epidemics, infections and a large number of victims”, – said Tsanava.
By the end of the round table “Restoring Donbas”, representatives of public community and international organizations decided to prepare an appeal to the Ministry of Health and other authorities to indicate the whole complex of urgent problems and its possible resolving.
“If we want to budge something, we have to knock on every door … Otherwise, the process will lose its controllability. Neither tuberculosis nor AIDS do not understand what a checkpoint and crossing rules are. Our position must be clear, “- summarized Elena Petryayeva.