“In November 2022, MSF evacuated 267 patients from the hospital,” shared project coordinator for the MSF medical evacuation train, Dr Albina Zharkova. “Now, due to increased shelling in Kherson over the past few weeks, the department of healthcare in Kherson region requested our support again to urgently evacuate 150 high-needs civilian patients.”
The hospital was experiencing disruptions to power supplies as a result of the shelling, meaning that it was sometimes functioning without electricity. In addition, many of the patients were immobile due to their age and health conditions. This made them extremely vulnerable, as they were unable to be relocated to bunkers in time when attacks on the hospital occurred.
“The patients have various conditions – many have chronic diseases, others had severe disabilities, some are bedridden,” explained Dr Zharkova. “We have also seen an increase in the number of psychiatric conditions due to the stressors of living in an area under frequent fighting.”
MSF ambulances transferred patients from the hospital to the train station, where patients were then evacuated using MSF’s medical train. Two trips were conducted to relocate the large number patients to other health facilities in safer regions in central and west Ukraine, with the first taking place on 20 Friday October and the second on 22 Sunday.