MDA sets up emergency field clinic in Moldova
It’s hard to believe that today marks day 43 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The most recent United Nations estimates are crushing, suggesting that 6.5 million people are displaced inside the war-torn country, while more than 4.2 million Ukrainian citizens have fled their homes to seek safety in neighbouring countries.
Around 400,000 of these people are currently in Moldova, where Magen David Adom UK has been able to set up an emergency field clinic thanks to the immense generosity of our supporters.
Our Moldova clinic, in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross, is providing vital medical care to refugees in urgent need of treatment while en route to a more permanent destination. It was set up following a request from the local Jewish community and will be a focal point of our response going forward, assisting hundreds of people whose worlds have been turned upside down by this conflict.
The team, based in Kishinev, is comprised of 8 medical professionals – 2 physicians from Ichilov Hospital, 1 MDA physician, 3 paramedics and 2 EMTs. As well as treating all those in need of support, the team is transporting people who require advanced medical care to local hospitals. The establishment of our clinic has dramatically reduced the strain on these hospitals, enabling them to focus on those in need of critical support.
The MDA team have also been making arrangements for every patient’s medical care at their next destination – be it Israel or another European country – to ensure they continue to receive high quality and appropriate care.
None of this would be possible without the support of our community here in the UK. Your donations have quite literally saved lives – and the need will continue to grow in the coming weeks and months. If you would like to support the work of Magen David Adom at this time, please click on the link below:DONATE
MDA UK is continuing to do everything it can for the most vulnerable caught up in this devastating crisis. We will stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as they need us.
It’s been an emotionally challenging week at Magen David Adom.
Not only are our MDA colleagues continuing their work to help the people of Ukraine as they face this ongoing humanitarian crisis, but terror has returned to the streets of Israel.
In the past 10 days, 11 Israelis have been murdered in deadly terror attacks – the first last Tuesday during a car-ramming and knifing attack in Be’er Sheva and a second on Sunday, where two people died after being gunned down by two terrorists in Hadera.
Then, at 8pm on Tuesday evening, multiple calls were received at MDA’s Medical Dispatch Centre reporting a shooting with five victims in Bnei Brak. Our responders were on scene within seconds of the initial reports. Just yesterday, there was another attack where MDA EMTs and Paramedics treated a victim injured by knifing in the Gush Etzion region.
Following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s announcement that the country is “currently dealing with a new wave of terrorism”, MDA’s role as Israel’s only National Blood and Medical Emergency Service is as vital now than it ever has been.
This week also saw a flight of MDA doctors, paramedics and EMTs, along with staff from Ichilov Hospital, touch down in Moldova. They are staffing our latest emergency clinic in Kishinev, providing vital medical equipment and medications to support refugees who have fled Ukraine. This clinic was set up following a request from the local Jewish community and will be a focal point of our response going forward, assisting hundreds of refugees who have taken treacherous routes to reach safety.
We are continuing to run our other emergency field hospital inside Ukraine in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alongside our Call Centre helpline for refugees still in Ukraine and those arriving in Israel, manned with Russian and Ukrainian speakers.
If you would like to support the work of Magen David Adom at this time, please click on the link below.
Magen David Adom’s expanding blood services across Israel, the focus of our forthcoming Pesach appeal, will become ever more important in the coming weeks if, as is feared, this recent spate of terror continues to affect the daily lives of our colleagues and all Israelis.
This Shabbat I, like many others, am thinking of all Israelis and Ukrainians alike and praying for peace.
A week that started with tension and disappointment has ended with jubilation and relief.
On Monday, a specially chartered Virgin Atlantic flight that was due to leave Warsaw for the UK with 52 Ukrainian orphans was cancelled at the very last minute. I was sat in the Virgin Atlantic operations room at Heathrow airport, when it became clear that that a crucial piece of paperwork had yet to be filed with the relevant ministry in Poland as it had not arrived from war-ravaged Ukraine.
We waited and waited. Everything on hold. Until, late on Tuesday night, we received the official communication that the rescue flight could take-off from Heathrow at midday on Wednesday. By 8pm Wednesday night the orphans were safe on UK soil. And what’s more, the delay had meant that Sally Becker – the ‘Angel of Mostar’ – had been able to save another two children, bringing the total to 61 refugees, including 54 orphans.
This was the endpoint of ‘Project Light’. An unparalleled and ambitious project by a coalition of charities including Dnipro Kids, Save a Child UK and Magen David Adom UK.
Why did we, the UK arm of Israel’s national emergency and blood services, get in involved in this mission? The answer is simple. We were asked to help and save more lives. How could anyone say no?
When our brand ambassador Rob Rinder called in desperation at the plight of these kids, he asked me if I could get a plane to airlift them to safety. I instantly thought of our friend Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, who instantly accepted the challenge of flying these children to safety. Even despite Virgin never having flow to Warsaw before. Esso supplying all the fuel. Medical aid onboard. Disney stuffed toys to hand out. Essentials packs of donated items. Even the onboard meals gifted. ‘Not one person asking for one penny for anything. Within little over a week, Rob’s phone call had turned into the most incredible, heart-warming humanitarian success story.
Standing at the doorway of the plane as the kids made their way up the stairs – boarding a plane for the very first time – it was impossible not to appreciate both the human tragedy and human victory. The tragedy of the orphans and their already difficult lives further ruined by a needless war. The victory of human spirit – the good that can happen when people work together for a common goal. Yet, to see these children with one bag each – their entire world stuffed into a rucksack – brings home the frailty of our existence. A new toy, a pack of essentials and pair of trainers – their life’s possessions doubled at 40,000 feet.
This is the start of a new chapter for them – they are now in Scotland, where they will be able to live without fear, as all children should, before hopefully returning home to a peaceful Ukraine. This mammoth operation has only been possible thanks to the generosity and hard work of so many without any funds being diverted or redirected form our core projects. I have no doubt many of you would have wanted to support this project given the opportunity, but that was not necessary.
Saving more lives is Magen David Adom’s reason for being and we will continue to support the people of Ukraine in any way we can. From supplying ambulances and medical aid (as our colleagues in Israel continue to do) to making this brilliant rescue flight happen, we are doing all we can to support the country and its citizens. If you are able, please donate and help make this possible.
Since I was in touch with you last Friday, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has continued to cause widespread devastation. In these unprecedented times, Magen David Adom colleagues around the globe are working nonstop to meet the most urgent needs of the Ukrainian refugee community.
This week, we sent four bullet-proof ambulances to Ukraine to assist medical teams who are treating the injured. These ambulances have undergone special service to prepare them for use in Ukraine, and are kitted and ready to provide medical aid under fire of battle. Six more ambulances that have completed their service in Israel are due to go out next week, five of which had been donated by supporters of MDA UK.
To find out more please watch the video below of MDA Israel Executive Director, Eli Bin.
More of our paramedics have been deployed to the emergency field hospital inside Ukraine, which we’re running in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our Call Centre-turned-helpline for refugees still in Ukraine and those arriving in Israel, manned with Russian and Ukrainian speakers, has had record numbers of calls from the thousands caught up in this tragedy.
As more Olim arrive in Israel, we are on hand to offer emergency medical attention as soon as they step off the plane. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, MDA UK has been able to cover the medical costs of all Ukrainian refugees making aliyah, reducing the bureaucracy and stress for them at this already tumultuous time.
With the situation in Ukraine constantly changing, we know the coming weeks and months will require us to respond quickly and flexibly. There are many organisations doing incredible work both in Ukraine and Israel. If you would also like to support the work of Magen David Adom at this time, please click on the link below.
MDA UK is doing everything it can to reach the most vulnerable and will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as they need us.
This week, as we’ve continued to see the devastating news coming from Ukraine, MDA UK’s CEO Daniel Burger reflects on his time in Israel where our colleagues are working tirelessly to assist those affected by the war.
On top of our usual operations in Israel, Magen David Adom is supporting those arriving from Ukraine, some of whom need immediate and urgent medical attention as soon as they step off the plane. On Wednesday, I was privileged to visit the MDA National Mobile Command & Control Centre that has swiftly been turned into a helpline for both refugees still in Ukraine and those arriving in Israel. Manned with Russian and Ukrainian speakers, it has become the first port of call for 100s of people caught up in this humanitarian tragedy.
Whilst MDA is undoubtedly busy with the current influx, there is a real sense that this is the calm before what Prime Minister Naftali Bennett predicts will be the greatest wave of aliyah in Israel’s history. MDA is the only organisation in the country with the technology to conduct such a complex operation, and our colleagues are working around the clock to be ready for what is on the horizon.
Meanwhile, a number of our Russian and Ukrainian-speaking staff are preparing to be deployed to the Poland-Ukraine border to set up an emergency field hospital with capacity for 4,000 people. Others will operate a virtual emergency training centre for Ukrainian doctors and medical students, sharing their vital expertise when it comes to providing medical care in a warzone.
All of this is happening in conjunction with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, who we are in daily contact with.
With the situation in Ukraine constantly changing, we know the coming weeks and months will require us to respond quickly and flexibly. There are many organisations doing incredible work both in Ukraine and Israel. If you would also like to support the work of Magen David Adom at this time, please click on the link below:
I am sure that your thoughts, like ours, are with all the people of Ukraine in these tumultuous times.