FEATURE: Taiwan donations help Ukrainian hospitals



A hospital in Kharkiv, near the Russian border, welcomed donations of supplies from Taiwan, which the director said was more critical than receiving cash

Taiwan has been providing humanitarian aid to help Ukrainians injured or displaced by the Russian invasion since the war began on February 24.

Under the “Taiwan Can Help” initiative, the nation donated US$5.8 million in two tranches, in April and last month, with funds sent to Ukrainian hospitals treating the wounded from the war.

One of the main beneficiaries has been the Okhmatdyt National Specialized Children’s Hospital in the capital, Kyiv, which in peacetime provides specialist care for children with rare and genetic diseases.

Photo: ANC

Since the start of the war, the hospital has been inundated with injured children, some of whom have to be put on beds in the hallways, while its medical supplies are running out at an alarming rate, hospital staff said. hospital.

“Now we are focusing on children who have suffered from the war, caused by Russia,” hospital director-general Volodymyr Zhovnir said in a video message of thanks to Taiwan. “To treat these children, we use all our facilities, staff and equipment.”

Most of the children are victims of Russian shelling of civilian residential areas, gas stations and supermarkets, staff said.

Some of the children are infants who suffered head and limb injuries in the attacks, they said.

Donations from Taiwan helped the hospital purchase a computed tomography coronary angiography machine that would be used to assess surgical and medical options for injured children, said the hospital’s medical director, Serhiy Churnishuk.

“It’s very important equipment for us,” said Churnishuk, adding that the machine improves the treatment of patients who may require brain surgery or other invasive procedures.

While the hospital tries to treat and house as many children as possible, it cannot save the lives of all those admitted there, and some never make it to the hospital due to the distance ‘they have to travel through a war zone,’ he said.

Travel difficulties have affected not only patients, but also hospital staff, he said.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, most staff, including doctors, nurses and technicians, have remained in hospitals as they are unable to commute between work and home. home, he said.

“Most of us…sleep here, eat here, live here,” he said.

In the city of Kharkiv, just 40 km from the border with Russia, another hospital, the Institute for General and Emergency Surgery, is also struggling to save lives, due to a shortage of supplies, among other issues.

Some of its windows were blown out in air raids and patched with pieces of wood.

Hospital helps ease pressure on frontline military hospitals and treats soldiers, as well as civilians, as Ukrainian forces fight to drive Russian forces out of Kharkiv, hospital vice president says , Yevhen Datsenko.

Wounded civilians are treated in military hospitals, and those brought to the institute are usually complicated cases, he said.

“The first days – yes, there were many [patients admitted], and after about two weeks already, well, a few a week. No mass entry,” Datsenko said through a translator.

The hospital is facing a supply shortage due to logistical disruptions, so Taiwan’s donations of medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotics, ventilators and surgical equipment were more practical than financial aid. , did he declare.

“Even if we had the money, it would be difficult to buy [supplies]said Datsenko, adding that medical supplies received from foreign governments, including Taiwan, were more important than cash.

More than 7 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war, many of them fleeing to neighboring countries such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

About half of Ukrainian refugees are now in Poland, including 50,000 in Lublin, which has a population of 340,000, according to UN data.

Taiwan donated $11 million and more than 200 tons of supplies to Poland, after Taipei’s representative office in Poland approached the Lublin city government with an offer of humanitarian aid, it said. the director of the International Cooperation Center in Lublin, Krzysztof Stanowski.

Lublin welcomed the donations from Taiwan, which would be used to feed Ukrainian families and help students and children, he said.

Taiwan has also donated money and supplies to other European countries that have taken in Ukrainian refugees, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

While Taiwan’s donations might pale in comparison to those from Western countries, the speed with which Taiwan provided aid has been applauded by politicians, Taiwan’s representative to Poland Bob Chen (陳錦龍) said.

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