For activists and simple citizens, it took little more than a week to equip Euromaidan hospitals completely from scratch at the regional hospitals’ level. Defibrillators, surgical lightings, electrocardiographs, pulse oximeters, oxygen plant, medical ventilator, stretchers, UFO heaters, and over 100 medicine items appeared due to #PeoplesHospital (#NarodnyiHospital) project. INSIDER talked to the activists and found out how they finally made it.
As Antonina Yurchenko, one of the project coordinators, says, PeoplesHospital is a “self-organized, self-motivated and self-controlled organization”, the team of activists who provide field brigades and hospitals with essential equipment and medicine.
They co-ordinate fund-raising, buy equipment, medical instruments, medicine, and individual protection. All of these are then passed to the field hospitals in October palace, Hrushevskogo street, to the field brigades and the first-aid point in Ukrainsky Dim. The project is co-ordinated through social networks. Its budget amounts to over 100 000 UAH.
Anastasia Polinkova, one of the co-ordinators: “For me, the public hospital’s history began in the late evening of January 22d, when I noticed a request in Facebook to raise money on defibrillator. I offered assistance in fund-raising and the equipment search. In the morning of January 24th we were already able to give 2 defibrillators and 2 medical ventilators to the October Palace first-aid point, with a total price of 70000 UAH”.
The idea of a “public hospital” belongs to the co-founder of Greencubator project, Roman Zinchenko, who had already been trying to organize medicine and equipment collecting alternately. In the midst of what was happening on Hrushevskogo street he and his colleagues – TEDxKyiv founder Vsevolod Dyomkin, designer Igor Sklyarevskiy and others – were “assaulting” Kyiv pharmacies in search for medicine for Maidan. In one of the drugstores he met Darya Krikunova and other activists.
“The girls bought medicine for a sum of 10 000 UAH before our very eyes. It was jaw-dropping. Then we got to know each other, it turned out they were in it for quite a long time, and a great deal has been already bought – a defibrillator, oxygen plant. We created a group called “heavy medtech”.Then I created the hashtag #narodnyihospital”, Roman says.
The team’s main aim is to provide field hospitals and first-aid points with equipment rather than medicine. “Medicine is what’s always most easily accessible. We work with equipment, racks, stretchers, systems. People have just come to the understanding that there’s enough trust to raise serious amounts of money and buy more expensive things”, Roman explains.
“Narodnyi Hospital” team consists of six co-ordinators and hundreds of people who financially support the equipment purchase, help with transportation and participation. “Actually, we don’t know many of them personally, but that is not a problem”, Antonina Yurchenko says.
In her regular life, Antonina organizes different forums and festivals. Neither her colleagues work in medical field. Dasha Krikunova is a producer, Sasha Dubicheva – an eventor, Nastya Polinkova – a PR-manager. Sasha Dubicheva: “Now everyone that risks offering me work should take into account the fact that I may run off to help people in any moment”.
As activists say, they are amazed how readily people raise money to equip public hospitals. That is the reason why they are beginning to think how the project could be continued.
Roman Zinchenko: “If our community has proved itself ready to establish a medical institution from scratch, to fund it by crowdsourcing, and to equip it on a level higher than most of the district hospitals (actually, the doctors say it is going to reach the regional hospital’s level) – then, maybe, we are ready to re-establish the republic? Maybe if we go further establishing schools, universities, self-governing structures, banks, civil defense brigades – maybe then we’ll realize that our country is becoming what we have initially planned?”
Antonina Yurchenko adds that the project is going to exist as far as it is needed. After the revolution all the equipment will be passed to one of the Ukrainian hospitals. “This will be a hospital which needs the equipment most. We are responsible before the people who supported us”.
Translated by Irina Kostyshina
Source: The Insider