Crisis Alert: Our charities are responding to the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Turkey, Syria and surrounding areas. Provide urgent funding to support their work.

AMERICARES: Voices From Ukraine: “I was shouting everywhere, ‘we need medicine!’”

Nezabutni is a nonprofit organization that provides medicine and other support to elderly people, including those with dementia, in Ukraine. When medicine for dementia was impossible to find in the country at the start of the war, Americares provided Nezabutni with $1.8 million in medicine and supplies, which the organization distributed to hospitals and health centers, including a hospital for the elderly in Kyiv, where Dr. Viktor Kholin is director. Since the war began, the hospital has opened its doors to a wider patient population, including injured soldiers, tripling the number of patients it sees, from 300 to 1,000 each month. In April, Americares interviewed Dr. Kholin and Irina Shevchenko, founder and director of Nezabutni. Dr. Kholin: Elderly people are a very unprotected part of our society, because while children have parents, very often elderly people have no relatives or carers; they may only have neighbors who can help them. Stress is a big problem because a patient who was in stable condition is unstable during war, and we have a big amount of psychosis. When people hear the blasts, it’s terrible. It’s a very awful situation. Shevchenko: I hear from all of the patients, without exception, that their state worsened [when Russia invaded]. Some started to be more aggressive, or, for the first time, forgot their names or couldn’t recognize their relatives. Dr. Kholin: Right now [in April 2022], in Kyiv, almost 80 percent of pharmacies are closed, and patients can’t get any drugs, and we have huge lines for pharmacies. I have spent three hours in line trying to buy something. Shevchenko: Our volunteers were searching all over Ukraine for medications, and when I left Ukraine, my main task was to find medications. I was shouting everywhere, “We need medicine!” And then I received the email from Dmitriy Popov, associate director, Eurasia partnerships, at Americares. I have worked with Dr. Kholin for a long time, and now we are all working together. Dr. Kholin: Every patient is very grateful that he or she has access to medication. It’s very important that patients and relatives can get this medication free of charge. Thank you very much for your help. It’s really important for us right now. Americares continues to provide Nezabutni with medicine and supplies, and also provided power generators for four gerontology centers in Ukraine that together serve 2,000 patients, providing further security for elderly people caught in the crisis.

Featured Client:


Thematic Areas: