Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to improve basic healthcare in Donetsk region’s remote, conflict-affected communities. Our teams have switched from running mobile clinics to working in general healthcare facilities, providing technical and practical assistance to staff. We are also strengthening community healthcare through the involvement of local volunteers.
In Luhansk region, we started supporting the regional HIV programme to improve diagnosis and treatment for patients with advanced HIV disease, focusing on putting patients at the centre of care provided in health facilities and in the community.
Our activities in Ukraine in 2021
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.
In Donetsk oblast (province), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continued to support innovative, local solutions, working with community volunteers who drove fellow villagers to medical facilities in their own cars. Volunteers also delivered prescription medications and shared important health information. Throughout the year, MSF offered basic healthcare workers peer support and trained them to provide mental healthcare to patients – something that was previously limited to specialist health facilities in urban areas. We also donated medical items, including essential medicines, to health facilities.
Treatment for advanced HIV remained a challenge in eastern Ukraine in 2021. In Luhansk oblast, MSF staff worked with the Ministry of Health Trust Cabinets (specialised HIV facilities) and the main laboratory for HIV testing. Our teams mentored and trained nurses and doctors and offered psychological and social support to patients to help them adhere to treatment. We also donated testing and laboratory equipment.
In Zhytomyr oblast, we worked with regional tuberculosis (TB) hospital to implement a patient-centred model of care for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Since 2019, we have been conducting research to provide evidence of the effectiveness of shorter, all-oral treatments combined with counselling and social support, such as firewood and food parcels. MSF is also constructing a laboratory with modern diagnostic tools to enable patients to start taking the correct treatment as soon as possible.
In 2021, we supported the COVID-19 response by donating personal protective equipment, rapid diagnostic tests and oxygen concentrators to health facilities. We also offered psychological support to healthcare workers, who were under intense pressure, and to patients and communities. In Donetsk, we treated patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms in their homes through our mobile clinics.