Local medics collecting and distributing supplies to Ukraine

ROCHESTER, NY It has been over 6 months now since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine. Since then, aid has poured into this war-torn country from all over the world, including from here in Rochester.

News10NBC spoke with doctors who organized a drive and distributed much-needed medicine and supplies in many Ukrainian cities. One of the cities these local donations are being shipped to is Kharkiv, one of many places not occupied by Russian forces.

“We try to ship at least once or twice a month,” said Dr. Yuliya Snyder, pediatric neurologist at Rochester Regional Health.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Dr. Snyder and his counterpart Dr. Alex Paciorkowski of URMC both established the Medical Relief Fund for Ukraine. The relief fund has launched a local drive for medicines and medical supplies.

“We did over-the-counter drugs,” Snyder said. “We were taking prescription drugs such as anti-epileptic drugs, antibiotics, etc.”

Dr. Olga Grygorieva, a colleague of Snyder who has also translated for Grygorieva, helps them distribute the supplies in Ukraine.

“At the beginning, when the war started, all the medicine was essential, because all the pharmacies were closed and we couldn’t get medicine,” Grygorieva said.

Every day, her clinic sees about 20 patients at least six days a week, a sharp drop she says since the start of the war. We asked Grygorieva which drugs are hard to get in her country.

“At first it was difficult to get medicine for thyroid disease, diabetes, insulin,” Grygorieva said.

Snyder says a big project is currently in the works for shipping.

“Our current project is an ambulance for Kharkiv Children’s Hospital,” Snyder said. “That would be our project number 16, and project number 15 is still ongoing, which is medicines and medical supplies for children’s hospitals in Kharkiv.”

Dr Paciorkowski says what we really need right now are more local cash donations.

“We are able to transfer this money to partners in Poland and Ukraine to buy many drugs in Europe, where things are certainly cheaper in Poland and delivery is faster,” Paciorkowski said.

Click it link to donate to the Ukrainian Medical Relief Fund.

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