In September, Global Care Force began sending volunteer teams to Ukraine to provide primary care to residents through mobile medical clinics. In four short months, teams treated more than 1,250 Ukrainians for chronic and acute health issues.
The mobile clinic started with five locations in central and southern Ukraine and grew to nine as word spread to other communities about our compassionate medical volunteers. Global Care Force Medical Volunteer Team Leader Roxanne Jones, says most of the people who come to the clinics are chronically ill patients suffering from extremely high blood pressure, high blood sugars, thyroid issues, and even some oncology patients.
Roxanne says, “We see tons of PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression in everybody. I don’t think there’s one person without one of those diagnoses, and it’s not improving. The trauma is off the charts.”
Volunteers are treating patients who received injuries during the Russian occupation in their towns and villages. Doug Amis, a physician assistant, recalled a patient he treated: “The gentleman got shrapnel in his foot, and it got infected. He laid in a ditch to keep from being detected by Russian forces for three days. He finally got to a hospital and received medical care, but he continues to fight infection, which could cost him his foot just because of the delay in care.”
The toll the war takes on Ukrainian children is heartbreaking.
“One young boy I treated I initially thought had autism; he had a blank stare and was nonverbal. But, his mother told me he had witnessed the deaths of several people shot by the enemy,” said Dr. Rob Winokur. “The mother said they put a gun in her son’s hand and asked him to shoot somebody. Luckily, she was able to intervene.”
Ukrainians take comfort in knowing that the Global Care Force Mobile Clinics are scheduled throughout 2023, providing medical care to those who may otherwise go without.
Volunteer Ryan Butler, DO, said serving Ukrainians in need was an amazing opportunity. “We helped hundreds of people who are likely going through the worst experience of their lives. Despite this, they were overwhelmingly hospitable and grateful for our help. They are resilient and determined people.”