The veterinary profession has come together to provide direct support for medics in Ukraine – both human and veterinary.
Under the banner of British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine, they are calling for urgent physical donations of medical supplies as well as financial donations for delivery direct to Ukraine.
Founded by UK vet and second-generation Ukrainian Antonina (Nina) Babchuk, the group has worked with the Ukrainian Medical Association to establish direct links with both human and veterinary surgeons working in the war zone and are sending supplies direct to where they are needed most.
“People just want to do something tangible,” said Nina. “We see horrific scenes on the television every day and when we hear from vets and medics on the ground that they don’t have the supplies they need, what can we do but try and get those supplies to them?
“We have been collecting physical donations from across the UK and are now establishing ways people can buy medical supplies in the UK that we take out to Ukraine. I am humbled by the support we have been receiving from vets in the UK, but there is so much more that they need out there.”
Till Hoermann, an equine vet from Rutland recently completed the 2,500-mile round trip to the Ukrainian border having been inspired to fill his own van with veterinary supplies donated by his own practice and other equine vets.
“After listening to an interview with doctors from the Ukrainian Medical Association on Radio 5 live I started to ask myself what could I do to help?” he said. “I realised a lot of the mobile veterinary equipment that we use out on the road may be useful for them so I started to make my plan.
“Through other contacts we have made we know exactly what they want and how to get it there. We have a warehouse just off the A1 that will act as a central collection hub and from there supplies will go into Ukraine via a distribution centre in Poland.”
British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine (https://www.facebook.com/groups/britishvetsforukraine) are urgently appealing for further donations. With the Ukraine Medical Association, they filled three ambulances that left on 15 March. Further shipments are planned for next week.
BEVA President Elect David Rendle added: “Initially I think we were all shocked and didn’t know if there was anything we could do that would have a tangible effect. However, through direct contact with medics and vets in Ukraine we now know that they need our help, especially through the provision of emergency medical equipment and consumable items. It is clear that the veterinary profession can make a difference by providing direct support, so I would urge everyone to do what they can to get behind this.”
British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine are keen to hear from any companies who are able to donate or subsidise medical supplies and from anyone who can help collect donations and move them to the central collection point in Oakham.
Medical supplies can be sent to British Veterinary Professionals for Ukraine c/o Hoermann Equine, Wrights Lodge East, Oakham Road, Whissendine, Rutland, LE15 7HA or can be left at other collection centres across the country.
Lists of what is needed or where it can be taken are available at https://www.facebook.com/groups/britishvetsforukraine Alternatively, people can donate through our fundraising page https://gofund.me/3b2a91e2 and supplies will be purchased based on what is most needed in Ukraine at the time.
Veterinary Voices UK are also supporting the effort.