Italian medical mission reports on health care crisis in Ukraine: 50 hospitals destroyed (Video)


January 7, 2015
Video: Alessandro Ferrucci, Lorenzo Galeazzi e Vauro for Ilfattoquotidianor
Translated from Italian by Tom Winter

First half of video: the hospital of Slovyansk, reduced to rubble; then in Kiev, where there are no medical supplies.

Once at Sloviansk, theater of the last summer’s ferocious fighting between regular Ukrainian troops and the pro-Russian separatists, stood a hospital at the cutting edge; a proper and real provider of health services, now completely destroyed. These images, still to this day never shown in the Italian media, show better than others the grave situation that has befallen on Ukrainian society.

Indeed, the outbreak of revolt at Maidan, the war, and the economic crisis have brought the health care system to a collapse. Fifty hospitals have been reduced to rubble, and the price of many drugs has risen 3200 percent. Many drugs are to be had only on the black market. Even in the capital, Kiev, far from the Donbass, where the fighting continues, medical facilities are incapable of meeting the health care emergency, which is worsening day by day. Entire hospitals are without painkillers, analgesics, chemotherapy. Children stricken with cancer, many of them victims of the Chernobyl legacy, are paying the highest price: where a survival rate in Europe would be 75-80%, in Ukraine it is one child out of every two.

As in our earlier work on the Ivory Coast, this report was made possible by the support of Soleterre, a non-governmental organization that has operated in Ukraine since 2003 in diverse ways that contribute to the healing of young patients, from the free supply of pharmaceuticals to psychological assistance, finally to the establishment of a welcoming home to shorten the hospital stays of children suffering from cancer.

Vauro’s tour was supported by the Italian medical charity Soleterre.

 We are eager to supply Ukraine with weapons for war; the real needs go begging for charity.

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