Complete treatment no matter what: Bakhmut
We remember well last year's story of families from Mariupol who started treatment, but were forced to stop due to the open invasion of Russia and the need to escape the occupation. However, thanks to the well-coordinated cooperation of the project's social workers, out of 46 families who were under social support in the Mariupol region, 33 families with children were found and taken under social support by other project specialists. And everyone who needed to continue treatment was able to undergo and complete it.
This year, a similar situation was repeated with families who evacuated from Bakhmut in different ways. After all, the hub "With Bakhmut in the Heart" has been operating in Dnipro since January, where evacuated Bakhmut residents can not only be screened and consulted by social workers on next steps in case of suspected tuberculosis or latent tuberculosis infection, but also undergo further medical examination and, if necessary, receive treatment from Bakhmut doctors in one of the hospitals in Dnipro.
It was these social workers and doctors who managed not only to restore contact with the families of children who were diagnosed with latent tuberculosis infection and underwent preventive treatment in Bakhmut. They were all forced to evacuate from the fortress city to other cities of the Donetsk region due to active combat operations.
Social workers of the hub, together with doctors, helped 21 children to get advice in a health care facility in a new place and successfully complete a course of preventive treatment. Unfortunately, contact with 15 other children who were under social support and started treatment at the time of evacuation has not yet been established.
And some of the clients seemed lost, but they found themselves, thanks to the hub with the name of their hometown in the name and the presence of specialists involved in the project. For example, Ms. M.
Ms. M.'s family lived in Bakhmut and in June 2022 was taken under social support in order to form a commitment to the preventive treatment of LTBI and overcome the consequences of a dangerous disease. Ms. M. easily made contact with a social worker and followed all the doctor's recommendations in full. The family was provided with humanitarian aid in the form of food and hygiene products from the NGO "Labour and Health Social Initiatives" (LHSI). But unfortunately, the situation in the city was becoming dangerous. The family was repeatedly advised to travel to dangerous regions. The family refused to evacuate, but they were treated on time.
In November 2022, specialists were forced to evacuate to Dnipro. Communication with the family was maintained for some time. Also, the specialists, if possible, were in constant contact with the phthisiologist Olena Molchanova* (we wrote about her in this year's previous digest 1-2023) regarding the treatment of Ms. M.'s child.
*Olena Molchanova was first one of the three, and later one of the two doctors who remained in Bakhmut to provide medical care to residents who remained in the fortress city. Before russia's open attack on Ukraine, she worked as a phthisiologist and was an expert in phthisiology at the health department of the Bakhmut City Council. And also from 2021 to this March, she worked in the project "You Should Know About Tuberculosis". Read more about it in this year's previous digest, this year's digest 1-2023.
But the situation in the city was constantly deteriorating, contact with the family was lost, and the specialist had no information about the family's whereabouts. She called Ms M. repeatedly, but the telephone number was consistently unserviced. The only thing we managed to find out was that the family was fully treated and evacuated. The information was received from Olena Molchanova, when the doctor was able to get in touch.
In January 2023, the NGO "Labour and Health Social Initiatives" (LHSI) began to implement a project in Dnipro on the basis of the hub "With Bakhmut in the Heart". And then one day Ms. M. came to the hub to receive humanitarian aid.
Specialists immediately recognized the woman, and the woman recognized them. It was very unexpected, but so nice... Then there were hugs, joyful tears. Thank God we were found! After a conversation with Ms. M., it was found out that the family was urgently evacuated by volunteers to a village near the Dnieper, and they were treated. Ms. M. lost her phone during the evacuation.
Ms M. and her child were accompanied to the doctor for a second diagnosis. According to the results of the examination, TB in the mother and LTBI in the child were not detected.
The support of the family was completed positively.