The Caritas-Spes Kharkiv project devoted to medical care provided to migrants

    Religious mission called “Caritas-Spes Kharkiv” from Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhya diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the beginning of September 2017 started a project dedicated to providing migrants with free medicines. Medicines are distributed by family-, regional-, hospital-based- or sub-specialist-doctor’s prescription only. This project is taking place within the framework of the Pope for Ukraine Initiative.

    Migrants also have a possibility to get a free professional medical advice from general practitioner, cardiologist and paediatrician who work within the project. This project is planned to help 5509 persons and will be underway till December the 20th, 2017. People can turn for help at the “Caritas-Spes Kharkiv” social centre (Kharkiv city, Gogol Str.4) or every Friday at the onsite locations, placed at the central regional hospitals of Kupiansk, Lozova, Chuhuiv, Izyum.

    At the moment there are over 2400 migrants who already turned for help within the project. These people mostly have chronic cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, liver diseases or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. There are also many parents with children under seasonal diseases or allergies among them.

    “The most vulnerable patients are pensioners, many of which have certain disability category given for their state of health or for neglected severe diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases, – explained Anna Firsova, general practitioner of the “Caritas-Spes Kharkiv”. – Such patients need constant medical treatment since dosing decrease or even cancellation of medicines can lead to disease recurrence, growing number of  urgent hospitalisation and even to irrevocable processes sometimes”.

    Serhiy Korotya, a migrant and a paediatrician of the “Caritas-Spes Kharkiv”: “Stress,  provoked by the war, changes in the place of residence, friends and social circles as well as other everyday unsatisfying conditions, decreases protective ability of child’s body. This often leads to diseases of the upper respiratory tract, allergies, neurological conditions, neurosis-like states, inflammations, sleep disorders, etc… In this case medical help provided at the proper time and to the proper extent is crucially important”.

    The decision to present this project for realisation was taken by Kharkiv-Zaporizhzhya  Diocese Bishop-Ordinary Stanislav Shyrokoradyuk. Taking humanitarian experience into account, the experience we gained during the last 3 years from the beginning of the war in the east of Ukraine, this project is urgent and vital. People with severe chronic diseases, in particular with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, cannot afford medical treatment which is why they are left face to face with danger posed by blood-stroke, heart attack and other complications to their lives.

    Tetyana is a pensioner and a migrant from Stakhaniv, she has been suffering from the hypertension for many years already. “Pills should be taken every day, medicines are very expensive and my pension is not enough for anything because I also need to rent a place for a living and pay for utility and food, – tells us an old woman. – For us as pensioners its an essential help that affects our mood and quality of everyday life. It’s very nice that the Pope cares about us, he remembers and worries about well-being of Donbas people. I would like to thank him and may God bless you!”

    Andrusenko Dariyush, project manager: “I am very grateful to the state social services, regional head doctors for keeping us informed about about the help from the Most Holy Father Francis for the most distressed migrants from remote villages and we have a chance to help these people. It is crucially important that people left alone with the trouble could reach for a hand of hope and experience christian love and support from everyone who cared”.