Team Rubicon Rushes to Aid of Displaced Ukrainians

When local government resources are overwhelmed, organizations like Team Rubicon are called upon to provide expertise, people and resources to help alleviate pressures on the system.

Nowhere in the world is that pressure greater than in Ukraine right now. The eastern European country has been under a relentless attack from Russia for the past seven weeks.

After the war started, Team Rubicon quickly positioned its EMT Type 1 team in Warsaw, Poland, ready to assist when called upon. The team includes physicians with expertise in pediatrics, as well as maternal and reproductive health.

Team Rubicon teams were also sent to Moldova, Hungary and Slovakia to coordinate with the World Health Organization and international non-governmental organizations to learn how they could assist with the growing humanitarian needs.

Meeting Them Where They Are

Since then, teams of Team Rubicon medical personnel have entered Ukraine to assist with people who have been displaced by the war. Especially women and children.

They've done this in coordination with the Ukraine Ministry of Health. And at a hospital in western Ukraine.

Being a mobile unit, Team Rubicon's teams are able to meet internally displaced persons where their needs are.

They are also training local medical personnel for mass casualty response. And chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear response.

So Many Need Help

Dr. Erica Nelson is the Deputy Medical Director for Team Rubicon. She's been involved in humanitarian aid for 20 years. Including in Nepal, India, Tibet, Southeast Asia, Jamaica, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere.  

In a message from western Ukraine she said the organization is currently focused on helping Ukrainians who have been displaced by the war.

"We're seeing hundreds of thousands of people who don't have primary care anymore," she said. "Those chronic diseases like asthma (and) diabetes are not being taken care of.

"They don't have access to medicines, and those can get really bad. We're talking about kids who have diabetes and can't access their insulin. Or families that need prenatal vitamins in order to keep their mothers safe and their babies safe."

Volunteer Teams in Harm's Way

David Callaway is the Chief Medical Officer for the international humanitarian response group. Here's what he told CNN following his recent return from Ukraine.

"I'm tired, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to be there and help people in their time of need. I'm really grateful for our volunteer teams that are over there.

"Putting themselves in harm's way to address this probably once-in-a-century humanitarian crisis.

"Three million people have crossed the borders into other countries and another 6.5 million have been displaced internally. It's creating a massive need within Ukraine and the rest of Europe.

Children, Women & Elderly Displaced 

"Most of what we were doing was not war injuries because we were farther west. But the first patient I saw was at 4:34 in the morning in an air raid shelter in the bottom of a building in a city in western Ukraine.

"He was a 16-year-old who ran down the stairs when the air raid sirens went off and he was having chest pains and trouble breathing. His teacher came and asked me to come and see him. He probably had COVID. He was having chest pains and problems in his lungs.

"So we were seeing everything from that to children with fevers and women who were in labor and pregnant to elderly people who had just lost their medications. 

"When you take 10 million people and you move them, you still have things like heart attacks and asthma exacerbations and little kids who have fevers and appendicitis. A lot of what our team is doing is that.

Our Humanity Is at Risk

"I've been in crisis zones in the Middle East and in Africa and one of the things that was hard about this... it really is what I imagine my grandfather saw in World War II. 

"As we would stand at the train station, literally a train would pull up and thousands of women and children and some elderly would pour off the train and then an air raid siren would come up and they'd immediately go down into a bunker.

"And as you look at that, it's hard not to feel a strain on your sense of humanity. And really think that what is at risk here is our humanity. This is truly a conflict that is really affecting women and children and putting them at risk.

"We know that women and children, when they are displaced, become very vulnerable. And if you put these people in other countries or even if you displace them to somewhere where they don't have contacts and connections, they become at risk.

Long-Lasting Repercussions

"As a father of two daughters, yeah, it's very emotional, it's very personal, and I spent a lot of energy trying to keep that under control when I was in the country.

"Every single night the Russians would fly planes into Ukraine to trigger air alarms. And every single night people would have to go down into air raid shelters.

"And you can only imagine the impact that has on a 6 or 7 or 8-year-old child or a 14-year-old or a mother who has two children or her husband or their brothers are on the front line fighting.

"And that amount of fear has long-lasting repercussions. And that's going to become the big story of this crisis." 

How You Can Help

As you probably know by now, 4Patriots has been supporting Team Rubicon financially for several years. 

If you would like to donate to this worthy organization that is making a difference in the world, visit and click on "Donate." 

But please know that your purchases of our products here at 4Patriots are what help make these donations possible. Thank you.


To your survival,
Robert Boyd
Managing Editor, News4Patriots

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