At a hospital in Lviv, Humanity & Inclusion is working with staff to care for patients, including burn victims and those requiring amputations after armed attacks.
“The number of patients with burns and amputations are increasing around the country,” says Virginie Duclos, Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency rehabilitation manager.
Duclos has been providing technical support and specialized training to therapists as well as physical and occupational therapy students, who have volunteered to support the growing number of patients.
“There is a great need for more rehabilitation workers in the hospitals,” Duclos explains. “Today, nearly everything depends on the efforts of volunteers—from treatment to supplies.”
The trainings focus on treating burns and post-operative amputations, as both require specific and specialized care to promote healing and prevent long-term functional problems. In the coming days, Duclos will move east to Dnipro to provide further trainings and support care where needs are greatest.
As of April 13, the United Nations reports more than 4,500 civilian casualties since February 24, including more than 2,600 people injured in the conflict. Actual numbers are expected to be much higher than the official estimates.
Humanity & Inclusion is also providing administrative support to the overwhelmed hospital staff by setting up patient files to improve follow-up care.
Mobility and hygiene needs
In eastern Ukraine, heavy bombing is ongoing and needs are significant. Humanity & Inclusion is actively supporting collective centers and other facilities housing affected families, such as underground shelters and metro stations.
“In Dnipro, we received word about a collective center hosting elderly people and persons with disabilities who have been displaced,” says Fanny Mraz, Humanity & Inclusion’s emergency director, present in Ukraine. “People are traumatized by the shelling and bombing. They had to leave their homes in a hurry, leaving behind their life, belongings and their mobility aids. One older woman coming from the Donetsk region could not bring her wheelchair with her because the person that brought her asked for money to bring it, and she could not afford to pay. She is now moving with a lot of difficulty, using two old walking sticks.”
Both the residents and staff are in need of support.
“The director of the civil society organization running the center is tired and starting to present signs of psychological distress from seeing the conditions of people arriving,” Mraz continues. “Mobility and hygiene management are the two greatest concerns in the center right now. The director also wants to do some simple renovations to improve accessibility, but she is unable to afford the costs.”
In the past week, Humanity & Inclusion has donated 130 hygiene and mobility aids including wheelchairs, walkers, walking sticks, crutches, toilet chairs and bed pans to five facilities in Dnipro and Kharkiv. People will be able to take the devices with them when they leave, and Humanity & Inclusion will continue to provide items to the center as needed. Humanity & Inclusion plans to help fund accessibility renovations and contribute to staff salaries. Additional support in hygiene, mental health and psychosocial support are also underway for the facilities.