Initiatives for the reconstruction of the Ukrainian health system

Berlin. The war in Ukraine is also hitting the health system hard. At the first conference of the German-Ukrainian health partnership, more than 150 doctors exchanged ideas at Charité. Charité and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) participate in various projects within the framework of the German-Ukrainian health partnership. They want to strengthen the Ukrainian health system and contribute to reconstruction. More than 50 Ukrainian and German healthcare institutions already cooperate within the network.

The Charité SOLOMIYA project is one of these German-Ukrainian collaborations. For the past year, she has been helping to provide medical and psychological care to the Ukrainian population. “This is a project that is close to my heart,” explained Professor Dr. Malek Bajbouj of the Benjamin Franklin Campus Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Clinic and project coordinator.

1,000 attacks from Ukrainian health facilities

Sergiy Dubrov, First Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine, explained how the war is affecting the healthcare system and the conditions in which people have been working there for months. There have been more than 1,000 attacks on Ukrainian healthcare facilities since the start of the war. A total of 148 medical personnel have already died, including 43 at work. Additionally, more than 650 ambulances were destroyed.

Dubrov is a doctor himself and was in the operating room during the war operating on the wounded. Some days, his colleagues performed up to eight operations a day, and there was not always an operating room available for that. During the conference, he showed photos taken on site. Including the one where he operates in the dark because the lights had just gone out, his employees shine their cell phones. “These are not pleasant images, but this is our life,” Dubrov said.

Half the population is traumatized

External injuries aren’t the only thing that play a role in war. The civilian population, soldiers and medical personnel are traumatized. “40 to 50 percent of the Ukrainian population will need psychological support of varying intensity,” said Professor Dr. Nataliya Maruta of the National Academy of Sciences in Kharkiv. According to projections by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, approximately 15.7 million Ukrainians will suffer from psychological problems in the post-war period.

These include depression, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Maruta is committed to strengthening outpatient and hospital care financially and in terms of personnel. They say this requires the integration of existing medical, social and educational services into a single network and partnership-based interactions.

Rosemary Rowse

"Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Web maven. Infuriatingly humble creator. Typical tv specialist. Music aficionado. Proud explorer."

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