“Every person we saw in the mobile clinic was overwhelmingly grateful. We provided most of them with needed medications.”
In September, a volunteer team of doctors and nurses, led by Global Care Force Volunteer Medical Team Leader Roxanne Jones, deployed to central and southern Ukraine, where they set up mobile medical clinics. The team included Dr. Stephen Kineke, RN Rebecca Reeser, Dr. Andrew Villa, and his wife Renee. Dr. Lev Prystupiuk, in-country host Pastor Sergiy Dzyba, and several Ukrainian interpreters joined the team in Ukraine.
The team traveled to five locations in Ukraine, setting up mobile clinics in churches, community buildings, and empty schools. Over 10 days, the team saw 400 residents and treated patients for numerous health issues; diabetes, hypertension, digestive and thyroid issues, and other health issues. Nearly every patient had a form of PTSD; anxiety, insomnia and depression. The team commented it was hard not to cry with them but marveled at the resilience of the Ukrainian people.
“A woman I saw had both her lower legs broken after setting off a trip wire from a land mine,” Dr. Villa said. “Her legs were not fixed and her x-ray showed both bones forming new calcium, but the legs are not in alignment.”
The team heard horrific stories from the Ukrainians they treated. In one village, they toured a cold, dark basement where dozens of residents, rounded up by the Russians, were held for 40 days. It was a scene Roxanne Jones won’t forget.
“The story of their unimaginable experience will forever be embedded in my memories. As I walked into the basement where these brave souls were held, I was moved in a way that as of yet I cannot put into words.”
As the team traveled from town to town, they witnessed the overwhelming destruction left by the Russian military. “The highway to Kyiv is known as the Road of Death as there are several areas where tank battles occurred and buildings, warehouses, and bridges destroyed,” noted Dr. Andrew Villa. “Yet, people try to go about their business and lead as normal a life as possible despite the shadow of war they all feel.”
Every day the team saw dozens of patients; children having difficulty adjusting, stress-related physiological symptoms, and more displaced people. “We heard stories of great loss as many are displaced, some with family members killed, and all suffering from the effects of this horrid war,” said Rebecca Reeser, an RN. “I am so thankful we can provide them follow-up care next month with the October team. It will be an ongoing effort much needed for months to come. The determination of the Ukrainians to carry on is inspiring.”