Incredible story of families from Mariupol
The project "You should know about TB: active detection of tuberculosis cases among IDPs and other families in difficult life circumstances", implemented by the team of the NGO "Labor and Health Social Initiatives" (LHSI) with the support of the Alliance of Public Health, did not stop and continued despite hostilities, shelling, destruction of cities and towns, evacuation of social and medical workers, etc.
Despite the danger, our partners — social centers and medical institutions in the regions — continued to provide medical and psychosocial support to people with tuberculosis at the slightest opportunity.
Thanks to the Alliance of Public Health, the NGO "Labor and Health Social Initiatives" managed to preserve the project team and reorient it to work with clients in places of compact stay of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and families in difficult life circumstances (SZHO), which made it possible to maintain the safety of the project specialists and city residents. These are centers for issuing humanitarian and other assistance, meeting places for evacuation (railway stations, etc.).
Among the challenges during the project's activities were not only threats to the lives and relocation of families of SZHO, IDPs, social and medical workers involved in the project to safer places (Kramatorsk, Dobropillya, Selidovo, Pokrovsk or other cities of Ukraine), hostilities, periodic lack of communications, medicines, medical care and transport links, termination of work of some medical institutions, impossibility of bringing clients to the doctor and the psychosocial state of the project clients is due to the constant threat to life, living conditions, unemployment, dependence on humanitarian assistance, health, etc. But also the termination of the project.
Thus, due to the occupation, work in Mariupol has been completely stopped. However, thanks to the coordinated cooperation of the project's social workers, among the 46 families who were accompanied by employees of the Mariupol region, 33 families with children were found and taken under social support by other project specialists in other places.
For example, families who left Mariupol for the Dobropilska territorial community were placed for temporary residence and received the help and support of specialists from the Dobropilsky City Center for Social Services.
"During the screening at the humanitarian headquarters, three families were identified in which children from LTI are brought up," recalls social worker Maryna Vakarashu. "They started treatment in Mariupol, and at that time the treatment was not completed. Thanks to the proper cooperation and indifference of medical workers, two more such families were identified. Both families were taken under psychosocial support, interviewed for the purpose of the escort and counseled to form a commitment to continue treatment. All children underwent the necessary examination, the doctor revised the treatment regimen. The center's specialists assisted in receiving humanitarian aid and making appropriate payments."
In total, 33 children from Mariupol were completing treatment in the same region — in Kramatorsk, Dobropillya and Bakhmut, Donetsk region. And those who completed the treatment were re-examined.
Unfortunately, the whereabouts of another 13 children could not be identified, although it is known that they evacuated from the city with their parents. Hopefully, they found the support and help they needed.