Published on 5 May 2022
A key aspect of Christian Aid’s response to the crisis in Ukraine has been to provide medical supplies and equipment to where they are needed most.
With funds raised through the DEC Appeal, our partner Crown Agents have been able to deliver vital medical equipment to frontline areas across Ukraine.
This has included 4,500 first aid kits and 4,500 trauma kits to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health to support the treatment of civilians caught up in the conflict.
The kits contain medical items to treat those badly wounded and to prevent catastrophic loss of blood including bandages, tourniquets, chest seals and foil blankets.
Christian Aid has also funded four incubators sent through Crown Agents to a hospital in Ukraine. These incubators have already saved the lives of four babies and will likely help to save more lives as premature births in Ukraine are on the rise because of stress linked to the conflict.
A doctor at the hospital noted that there has been a 50% increase in premature births at his hospital this year, which he puts down to the stress of the conflict.
Without doubt, the war, the psychological and physical suffering affect the pregnancies and have a negative impact on the condition of a newborn baby.
- Hospital Doctor.
A mother's own words
Christian Aid heard from a mother about her experience of fleeing her home, eventually giving birth to her baby prematurely in this same hospital. She told us:
“When the war started, I was 20 weeks pregnant. I was a resident of Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv, and I felt that horrible war in its entirety.
From day one, there were airplanes and missiles flying over the town. And I, a pregnant woman, had to run to a basement, which was cold and damp despite a stockpile of overcoats and covers we kept there.
“But the worst came when the battle of Irpin began and when a part of the town had been occupied. I heard the sound of rockets flying over our house and some of them hitting buildings nearby.
“Those were the most horrible days of my life. My mother and I had to run away from our house because it could catch the blaze from a building nearby.
“It was impossible to leave the town as we had no information. The shelling continued non-stop. We had no power, no gas, no internet and no water. We did not know what motorways out from the town were safe and we were unaware of evacuation.
“It was just a stroke of luck that a volunteer helped us to leave the town. My husband is fighting in one of the hottest spots. I worry about him a lot, too.
“What I lived through during the two months of war cannot be described as stress as it was endless fear, panic and anxiety.
“When we arrived here where there was no fighting, my mum and I were still scared by loud noise, someone slamming the door, etc. I still have that fear…
“Three weeks after we arrived here I started feeling pain in my lower tummy and I noticed blood. Ambulance medics took me to a hospital where I was warned of a possibility of premature birth.
“Every day for a week, I felt contractions, and on the 27th week of pregnancy, I gave birth to a boy.
“My son is in a difficult condition now because of the premature birth.
“The incubator ensures that the level of humidity and temperature are exactly what the baby needs. Also, they have all kinds of sensors, pipes and needles connected to my son’s body, which also help him.”
*The names and location of the doctor and mother are omitted for their own safety.