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Shortage of medicines

Story and photos: Mykhailo Lutskyi

Illustration: #VeronikaKotyk

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Access to medicines became a serious problem in Kyiv in the first weeks of the full-scale Russo-Ukrainian war. The majority of pharmacies stopped working while people ran out of their supplies. People who need insulin, dialysate, and psychotropic medications were especially affected by the inability to find drugs. There were also shortages across all types of medication.


In response, Mykhailo—together with his girlfriend, Inna—and friends from the Kyiv School of Economics decided to support the citizens of Kyiv. They started buying medicines in Chortkiv, a city in Ternopil Oblast in western Ukraine. Then, they sent humanitarian aid to Kyiv by train, where local volunteers received packages and distributed medicines to those in need: hospitals, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Territorial Defense Forces.


Mykhailo and his friends could collect up to 20 boxes of medicines at a time. Chortkiv City State Administration helped volunteers by promptly allowing them to distribute medicines received from abroad as humanitarian aid.



As soon as the deficit in Kyiv began to fade, Mykhailo and his friends switched to the purchase of tourniquets that are used to stop the flow of blood and save the lives of many soldiers and volunteers at the frontline. They have already received enough donations to purchase and distribute 1500 tourniquets to the army. The volunteers need to pay attention to the quality of the goods because bad tourniquets often break, which means an injured person can die from blood loss. To avoid such problems, the volunteers always ask for vendor certificates. Another safe option is to buy only a few pieces for the first time and test them.

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