War in Ukraine: The logistical challenges of transferring medical materials

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Published: 3 Apr 2023
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Dr Horia Vulpe, Dr Ruslan Baltaga

The invasion by Russia of Ukraine on the 24th February 2022 has created a massive humanitarian crisis for Ukraine and Europe generating huge challenges for cancer and palliative care. 

As of the 1st May some 12-13 million Ukrainian citizens were still trapped in active conflict zones, nearly 8 million had become internally displaced, mostly to the West, and nearly 6 million had left to become refugees.In support of the WHO Ukraine Cancer Emergency Response and the ECO-ASCO Special Network: Impact of the War in Ukraine on Cancer ecancer has commissioned a special set of interviews with some of the key actors in the cancer humanitarian response both within and outside Ukraine.

This second set of interviews serve both as sources of on-the-ground experience and as living witness and testament to the extraordinary work of doctors, patient organisations, professional groups and UN agencies such as WHO in their efforts to adapt to the many challenges.


Prof Richard Sullivan (Kings College London, London, UK), Dr Ruslan Boltaga (Oncological Institute, Chișinău, Moldova) and Dr Horia Vulpe (The Queen's Medical Center, Honolulu, USA ) discuss the challenges of the cost of cancer care in Ukraine.

Dr Boltaga discusses the logistical challenges of transferring medical materials and highlights the work Oncological Institute Moldova has been doing in supporting and treating refugees.

Dr Vulpe explores the partnership with international organisations to help fund treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery for Ukrainian cancer patients. Patients who needed assistance were moved from Ukraine to Romania. He continues by explaining moreover on the work in Romania.

You can read more about the Special Network here and here.