UK donates medical supplies to Ukraine as Russia expands missile strikes

Hundreds of thousands of medical items have been flown over to the region following an urgent request from Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

19 March 2022

Two million medical items have now been donated to Ukraine, the Government announced after Russia expanded its missile strikes to Lviv in the west of the country on Friday.

Supplies including painkillers, insulin shots and intensive care equipment are expected to arrive in the war-torn region in the coming days, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the Government knows it “must do more” to help the embattled country as it resists Russia’s invasion.

Some 10 flights carrying medical supplies have departed Stansted, Heathrow and RAF Brize Norton over the past three weeks, the DHSC said.

And, following an urgent request from Ukraine, a refrigerated truck left for the region on Friday carrying insulin injections and drugs critical for surgery, the department said.

The figure of two million includes all donations to date and is made up of each individual item and each dose of medicine.

Resuscitators, cannulas and face masks are among the kit delivered so far.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine in the face of Russia’s “appalling” attack, which was launched on February 24.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Equipment at NHS National Services Scotland Titan logistics facility in Bellshill, which was visited by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who watched watch medical supplies being loaded up to be sent to Ukraine (PA)

“We’re leading the humanitarian effort to support Ukraine by providing targeted medical support to those in need. In less than three weeks, the UK has donated more than two million medical items,” Mr Javid said.

“Tens of thousands of sick or injured Ukrainians have now received treatment thanks to the donations made by NHS England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Speaking at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen on Friday, the Prime Minister said he had spoken to Mr Zelensky that morning.

“From my office, I said, ‘We stand with you at a time when your people are facing such horror with such courage,” he said.

“‘When you’re fighting, not just for your lives and your homes – for the cause of democracy and freedom itself – we know that we must do more to help.

“‘I pledge to you that we will.’”

Scottish Conservative Conference
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (PA)

Fighting in Ukraine reached the centre of southern port city Mariupol, where many civilians were still trapped on Friday.

Russia also launched an early morning attack on Lviv, the city’s mayor said, as British intelligence suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion made “minimal progress” this week.

An update from the Ministry of Defence said Ukrainian forces were continuing to “frustrate” Moscow’s attempt to encircle cities including Kyiv and Mykolai.

Shelling around the capital Kyiv also continued as the number of refugees estimated to have fled the war exceeded 3.4 million.

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