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The United Nations reports about problems with medications in non-government-controlled areas of Donbas


The United Nations reported about the shortage of medications in the pharmacies in non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Also, drugs and medical supplies are not available in many of healthcare facilities. And the prices for available medications are very high. 

The lack of medications is proved in Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). In June 2015, by order of Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center, KIIS conducted the humanitarian needs assessment in 27 towns of non-government-controlled areas of Donbas and formed the Humanitarian map of the situation and needs in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The research found that 52% of people suffer the shortage of medications. The respondents reported a deficit of heart disease drugs, blood pressure medications and sedatives.

According to the UN, about 750,000 people living in non-government-controlled areas suffer high blood pressure. 15% of them shall take blood pressure medications on a regular basis. Another 143,000 people are at high risk of serious complications due to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. This indicator can increase due to the constant stress and injuries, malnutrition and inadequate health services among the locals.

The UN emphasized that the shortage of medications and the lack of access to them will lead to acute complications of chronic diseases. This not only can cause premature death, but also raise the cost burden in the family, increasing the demand for patient care and the risk of disease transmission.

It is also reported about the lack of antiretroviral drugs for patients with HIV/AIDS in non-government-controlled areas that have the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country. Besides, there is information on 400 deaths among diabetics caused by the shortage of essential drugs and the lack of proper treatment.

The shortage of medications in non-government-controlled areas of Donbas has been frequently mentioned by Rinat Akhmetov Humanitarian Center as well. According to the Humanitarian Center's specialists, the situation is further complicated by the fact that Ukrainian legislation does not determine the mechanism of clearance and delivery of humanitarian medical aid. And there are no transparent rules, similar to those that regulate food aid delivery. Due to this problem the humanitarian organizations cannot deliver medications in the required volumes.