On July 19-21, a charitable medical outreach was held in the town of Hirske, in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine. The outreach was organized by CBN-Emmanuel and was held with participation of local churches and “The Slavic Trinity Church” of Sacramento.
It was the third medical outreach in the war-affected zone held by the doctors of Emmanuel’s “Medical Mobile Clinic” this year.
The town of Girske is located in the so-called “gray zone”, within 6 km to the demarcation line. Everything in the town reminds that the war is very close – the fact that the military hospital is located in the ground floor of the local hospital building, several destroyed houses in the area and warning signs on the houses “Shelter” and “Don’t turn on the music”.
Before the medical outreach, the missionaries from America held a series of meetings with the locals inspiring them to rely on God, praying for their land and inviting them for free medical check-ups.
Unfortunately, on the first day of the medical outreach everyone participating was able to feel that the war was very close – a heavy fire started in the evening. On the next day, the locals told Emmanuel’s medical staff that over 80 shots had been fired. One can only imagine what people living in this town have to go through every single day.
With regard to the medical situation in the city, the problems are the same as in other towns and villages of war-affected Donbass: there is a great shortage of medical staff as most of the doctors left the region due to war. However, there appeared to be another problem in the town – people are unlikely to try and see a doctor even if they are not feeling well. There are several reasons for this – fear of a bad diagnoses, disregard for medicine, financial difficulties, etc.
Lyudmila Ivanovna, the head of the therapeutic department of the local hospital shares, “The situation with medical care in our country suffers due to the lack of medical personnel. Most of the doctors we employ are of retirement age. Therefore, we are in great need of medical attention. It is especially difficult for retired people who cannot afford to pay for the medical services with their tiny pensions”.
Some of the elderly patients at the outreach have never had an ECG in their whole life! Several patients were diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases – if it hadn’t been for the outreach, they wouldn’t even know about their serious conditions! The situation looks the same throughout the conflict-affected Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Locals of Hirske town were able to receive consultations of Kyiv doctors of the following medical specialties: therapists, gynecologist, pediatrician, neurologist, cardiologist, dermatologist. They also were able to undergo functional and instrumental diagnostics, including ECG, ultrasound and lab tests.
Over the weekend, 474 patients were registered, including 25 children! All participants received free medicines, 327 partients received free reading glasses. 250 people spoke with Christian counselors, where they had the opportunity to speak, pray, and receive spiritual literature.
Many reviews, wishes and words of appreciation were heard at the outreach.
Lydia Fedorivna shares, “I have never met such medical staff before. Thank you very much! I wish you all good health, happiness and well-being!»
Larisa, from nearby Orikhovo village shares, “Thank you for your work. I wish all of us peace. This is the most important thing. All of our diseases are caused by nervous situations, especially for us, living in this dangerous territory … Thank you for not forgetting us, come visit us again»!
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Luidmila Gamaliy, CBN-Emmanuel