Eight medical professionals from Chicago-based MedGlobal will soon make their way into Ukraine, aiming to provide life-saving help to those in need in the war-ravaged country.
The professionals boarded a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Wednesday, each bringing with them checked bags full of donated medical supplies, including pain medication, surgical kits and even baby formula.
After arriving in Warsaw, Poland, the workers will head into Ukraine, stopping in Lviv and making their way wherever the need is greatest.
“Our level of concern is much higher than other conflict areas we’ve been involved in,” Dr. Riley Jones, a doctor with MedGlobal, said.
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According to Dr. John Kahler, cofounder of the organization, the medical professionals will be bringing more than $500,000 worth of donated supplies into Ukraine.
Those professionals, ranging from doctors to psychiatrists, are walking into the war zone to help Ukrainian civilians, saying that their passion to save people’s lives is bigger than their fears of the conflict.
“Previous conflicts we would talk about humanitarian corridors, we would talk about international humanitarian law, the Geneva Convention, but that is off the table right now,” Jones said.
The professionals are heading into Ukraine amid an uptick in bombings of civilian targets. According to Ukrainian officials, at least 17 people were hurt this week after Russian bombs struck a children’s hospital in Mariupol, injuring staffers and patients in the hospital’s maternity ward.
Everyone involved with MedGlobal is a volunteer, stepping away from their current practices to donate their time abroad. Their stay could last days or even weeks, the group says.
“It is really important. We wanted to make sure that our Ukrainian colleagues know that we stand with them during this crisis,” Dr. Hena Ibrahim said.
The Polish airline that the group used to fly to Europe allowed MedGlobal to bring 10 checked bags per person, ensuring that they could bring over sufficient medical supplies to help those in need.