Mobile clinics bring vital care to families in Ukraine
Roving medical teams put together by UNICEF are helping families and children in Ukraine to get the health care they need
Mobile medical teams run by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have been visiting towns and villages affected by the war in Ukraine, providing quality primary healthcare services to those who need them.
Residents of the Khersonska region like 35-year-old Olena and her one-year-old daughter Yevheniya are among those grateful for the help.
“There are some medicines in the hospital we are provided with,” says Olena. “But certain other drugs are only available in the city. People in the village are sick. We have a lot of children who are also ill. Now, spring has begun, which is the time of viruses. So we need the doctors' help.”
Paediatrician Alina Velichko is on hand to provide Olena and her daughter with a preventative medical checkup, and can make referrals to other specialists, if necessary. Her team also includes a therapist and family doctor.
“Even though they are small and do not understand everything yet, children still feel the mood of their parents and those with whom they interact,” says Alina, 28. “Stress has a serious impact on people's health, including children. They get sick more often, take longer to recover and sometimes don't even want to get better because they don't see the point. That's why it's important to help those who need it.”
The outpatient clinic where Alina and her team work every Monday has almost been destroyed by the fighting. Despite this, the number of patients is growing – people are returning to their homes, and the UNICEF mobile medical team is helping to maintain and restore the health of the residents left without medical care.
Valentyna, who is 71, is undergoing a third health care examination by doctors from the UNICEF medical team. She has a heart condition that requires regular medical check-ups and access to medicines, which has been complicated by the war. A month ago, she and her husband finally returned to their damaged home after a year of living with friends in different cities in Ukraine.
The mobile medical team means she no longer has to travel long distances to hospitals amid the ongoing war and violence.
“It's great that the doctors come here,” she says. “I no longer have to go to Mykolayiv, let alone Kherson, where there are hostilities. It is very convenient.”