“Yulia is the oldest child in the family, she was a bit introverted, Mykhailo is the middle child in the family, a little livelier and there is also little Masha, who seemed to understand nothing. But we suspected that these children had witnessed things that their peers had only seen on television, or maybe had not seen at all.”
This is the beginning of the story of Yulia and Mykhailo – two children with hepatitis C virus. In 2020, they took part in the project “Healthy Future of Ukraine”, which was implemented by the NGO BCD from Nemishaieve (Kyiv Region).
“The risk of infection is higher the more infection enters the body. Therefore, the highest danger is posed by contact with infected blood, which contains the highest number of copies of the virus. This can happen during the transfusion of untested blood or blood products, as well as procedures involving skin damage, non-sterile or poorly treated instruments,” organization’s experts explain.
Understandably, the risks of infection can increase in wartime.
The war on viral hepatitis
Today, due to the war, BCD NGO has been relocated to Kyiv, where it is actively involved in humanitarian aid, support for volunteer initiatives, and transportation of necessary materials around the city of Kyiv.
But finding drugs and supporting people with viral hepatitis and HIV-positive people remains relevant.
Prior to the full-scale military invasion, the BCD team consisted of professional volunteers: social counselors, infectious disease doctors and hepatologists, ultrasound specialists and lab staff with excellent reputation.
Throughout 2021, BCD, with the support of its mentor Kateryna Ryzhkova-Siebielieva from the Light of Hope charitable organization (Poltava), worked to develop a comprehensive Health Program for the population of the Nemishaieve Territorial Community.
After February 24, the focus of their work had to change. However, the issue of supporting those who need it now remains a priority for the team.
Supporting the community
Yurii Voinalovych is an experienced communicator. Combining the work of executive director of the organization and work in the Living Word Church, he brings together those who seek help and those who offer it.
Responding promptly to the offers of support from Rivne for the Kyiv Region, later sending volunteers to reliable people to help villages in the Zhytomyr Region – these things are commonplace in wartime.
“We redistribute everything depending on where it is needed,” says Mr. Yurii.
But the needs of the community of people diagnosed with chronic viral hepatitis in the current environment are only growing.
“The hepatitis community has moved, some have arrived, and some have left. Now we need to do a mini-research, to update the information on what’s going on,” explains Yurii Voinalovich.
According to him, hepatitis C virus takes three months to cure. So people can get treatment, for example, in Borodyanka, throughout the first month, and what should they do next – the question arises.
If there are questions about viral hepatitis
The organization has doctors who can provide professional help and advice.
If you want to know more about supporting patients with viral hepatitis in wartime, call/text: +38 073 044 73 44 (mob/viber) or text on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/grbcd.
You can become a philanthropist and support the activities of the organization by following this link: http://bcd.org.ua/pidtrimati/