A GROUP of doctors in the North East have been overwhelmed with support for their drive to provide much needed medical supplies to war-torn Ukraine.
Medical Aid Ukraine – North East has appealed to NHS trusts across the region for any medical, surgical or first aid supplies that will soon expire or be phased out.
Less than a week after their group was formed, the NHS helped them stock a warehouse with vital supplies for field hospitals.
Karolis Rozanas, 37, from Lithuania and a second-year doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead, co-founded Medical Aid Ukraine North East with Katarzyna Kostrzewa, 35, a surgical trainee at Health Education England North East.
Katarzyna, who was born in Poland, is helping with the national coordination effort, while Karolis’ wife, Rugile Rozane, 32, who is currently training as a psychiatrist at Northumbria Healthcare’s North Tyneside General Hospital, has also played a key role in the creation of the group.
Read more: Ukrainian North Tees NHS doctor renews appeal to people in the North East
Dr Rozanas said: “We have all kinds of essential medical equipment for the operation of field hospitals, including disinfectants, gauze, bandages, gloves, splints, neck braces, resuscitation masks, blankets aluminum thermals, disposable surgical kits and tourniquets.
“We’ve had a lot of success with that. Things have grown very quickly. Within a week we have a warehouse full of stuff.
“I’m overwhelmed and really proud of everyone involved and contributing.”
He added: “People are still joining us and getting involved.
“We’ve been able to tap into a lot of local people who want to help. And in doing so, we’ve been able to tap into their contacts.
“There are people from all walks of life, including retired NHS CEOs, who have all the contacts and time to help.”
Medical Aid Ukraine North East works closely with the British Ukrainian Aid Charity, Ukrainian Medical Association and other national organizations and charities,
Supplies are being collected from nine Medical Aid Ukraine centers across the UK and will be transported to a central point and then on to Ukraine.
Read more: Doctors in the North East collect vital medical supplies
The group is also supported by Vladyslav Vovk, 26, a Ukrainian Foundation 2 doctor working at North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nicola Elliott, 32, who is a nurse practitioner at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and whose the grandfather was born in Ukraine, and Elliott Philips, 25, who is currently a GP intern with the A&E department of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Anthony Robson, Managing Director of QE Facilities, said: “QE Facilities and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust are working with the Ukrainian Medical Association through Ukraine Medical Aid North East to provide medical supplies and coordinate logistics for the North East and the beyond to offer our support.
“We are storing goods to be palletized and transported through the network and have started to collect medical equipment and supplies from general practitioners and clinics. We will continue to offer our support, wishes and thoughts to all concerned, at home and outside.
A call has also been made for companies or individuals who can help with transportation.
Anyone wishing to help can get more information by visiting Medical Aid Ukraine – North East on Facebook or by emailing [email protected]
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