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The Humanitarian Center reports the problem of medications delivery to ATO area


The present-day situation with medications and problems with their delivery to non-government-controlled areas of Donbas were described during the briefing at Ukrainski Novyny information agency by Rimma Fil, the Coordinator of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center.

"The Humanitarian Center has repeatedly mentioned that the shortage of medications, including heart disease drugs and other vital pharmaceuticals, such as insulin, anticonvulsants and asthma medications, is the most acute problem in the ATO area, – Rimma Fil said. – Imagine a situation when internally displaced family or a family living in non-government-controlled territory of Donbas has a child with a serious illness, such as diabetes, asthma or cerebral palsy. And they have no money or no medications in the pharmacies. For example, there is no imported high purity insulin in Donetsk for a year. And children must be provided only with these kinds of insulin and only those medications that they are used to. They cannot be replaced as it may lead to fatal consequences. What should be done?

Previously, these problems were solved by the state, providing free complex medicines for certain categories of children. This year there are no such programs in Donbas on both sides of the contact line. That is why the hotline of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is receiving a great number of calls from parents asking for help.

According to Rimma Fil, the Humanitarian Center helped children in spring and summer 2015, providing insulin for children with diabetes. Later the rules were tightened and import of medications was banned. And today the situation is critical.

Being guided only by clear and transparent principles and procedures, and observing all the laws and legal acts of Ukraine, the Humanitarian Center is trying to find out what documents, licenses and permits should have a humanitarian mission to provide medications for sick people in the ATO area. This has been lasting for several months. For this matter the Humanitarian Center sent a request to the Anti-Terrorist Centre of the Security Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Police and the State Service for Medications.

"Due to the legal stratagems the activity of all domestic humanitarian organizations is brought under the standards of the foreign ones. And now this procedure creates insurmountable obstacles in medical product supplies", – the Coordinator assures.

After all, while the international humanitarian missions import the pharmaceuticals, Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center is a Ukrainian charitable organization that operates under Ukrainian laws, purchases medications in Ukraine and does not import them.

"We can issue medications and we are ready to do it. But those formal replies that we are getting from the Ministry of Health, first of all, do not give the answer to this simple question: is the activity on storage and distribution of humanitarian assistance in the form of medications being licensed as of today? We will not be able to deliver the pharmaceuticals to non-government-controlled areas until we get a clear answer", – Rimma Fil says.

But it is impossible to wait and see the suffering of severely ill children. That is why the Humanitarian Center starts a new program called "Medications for Children" as part of Targeted Assistance on the 6th of October. This program involves the systematic issuance of insulin, anticonvulsants and anti-asthma medications to all children under 18, living in non-government-controlled areas of Donbas, and children from internally displaced families who left for peaceful territories of Ukraine.