Fight against COVID-19 in Ukraine: for a year now, Rinat Akhmetov Foundation has been helping the country cope with the coronavirus

A year ago, 105 Ukrainians and foreigners evacuated from Chinese Wuhan, a city where a previously unknown virus, COVID-19, was found in a sanatorium in Novi Sanzhary (Poltava region). The people who were placed in a sanatorium for 14 days of isolation were depressed and frightened. Not only with the virus, but also with the aggressive reaction of local residents who tried to attack the bus in order not to let them into Novi Sanzhary.

– We were scared. We were stoned and insulted,”- told one of those in the bus to reporters.

Supporting the Evacuees, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Sent a Truck with Humanitarian Aid to Novi Sanzhary. It arrived at Its Destination on February 22, 2020.

“The Foundation delivered “care kits” for everyone who was on observation. With warm blankets, clothes, hygiene items and games for children. So that people feel that they are not left alone with trouble,” says Irina Blazhan, director of projects and programs of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

The foundation also organized a psychological help line for the evacuees from Wuhan and their relatives. Rinat Akhmetov’s help pulled people at their heartstrings. On social media, people warmly thanked the Foundation for its support.

“In fact, the project of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” began with the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Novi Sanzhary urban-type settlement. Rinat Akhmetov decided to allocate UAH 300 million towards stopping the epidemic. He pooled the resources of the charitable foundation of FC Shakhtar and SCM businesses to help public hospitals. A large and systematic work began in close coordination with the Ministry of Health. We have received a list of the main medical necessities and reached out to the international medical device markets. In addition, our representatives were integrated into the work of anti-crisis headquarters all over the country. This helped to identify pain points in the provision of hospitals and take them into account when planning the supply of equipment and consumables that doctors needed,” said Natalya Yemchenko, a member of the Supervisory Board of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

For each ALV device, for each oxygen concentrator, for each box of tests, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation had to compete with dozens of other buyers, including entire states.

“It was the fiercest competition. Anyway, we were able to purchase and transfer 155 oxygen concentrators, 337 thousand express tests, more than 200 thousand personal protective equipment and consumables to reference hospitals in all regions of Ukraine. The key element of the Foundation assistance was 207 ALV devices – this is the largest supply of such equipment to Ukraine during the pandemic. In total, 505 medical institutions in 203 settlements received assistance from the Foundation. The project “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” has become the largest and systemic private initiative aimed at helping the country in the fight against coronavirus. Cooperation between business and the authorities during the epidemic gave the state time to adapt to an unprecedented situation and direct the necessary resources where it was needed most of all,” adds Natalya Yemchenko.

“Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” is a large-scale project of the Foundation, designed to help the country save lives. It is being implemented under the program of the Foundation “Rinat Akhmetov – Saving Lives”. Earlier, by personal decision of Rinat Akhmetov, within the framework of this program, the project “200 ambulances for Ukraine” was implemented. Then, in a record short six months, state medical institutions in all regions received 200 special vehicles with the most modern equipment.

The project “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” is not only equipment and supplies for public hospitals. These are social events and educational projects for doctors, schoolchildren and teachers. The Foundation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, taught the doctors to work on ALV devices, talked about the latest methods of treating COVID-19 during webinars. More than 2000 doctors from all over the country took part in the conferences. The video project “COVID-19: what you need to know about the work of artificial lung ventilation devices” helped doctors of intensive care units to master ventilators, which were supplied to hospitals by the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

For teachers, the Foundation, in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Science, released the series “Quarantine: Online Services for Teachers”. It helped teachers adapt to distance education.

For children transferred to online education, the series “Digital-physical culture for schoolchildren with the participation of sports stars” was launched. The hosts of the project were the players of the Shakhtar football club and the Ukrainian national team Andriy Pyatov and Serhiy Kryvtsov, who motivated the children to go in for sports at home and showed which exercises are most useful.

In 2021, the project “Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine” continues.