Since Russia’s invasion began, EIT Health has provided tangible support to Ukraine by facilitating the supply of medical equipment and vaccines. Our focus now shifts to providing Ukrainian innovators with access to European innovation opportunities. By extending our programme offering, we aim to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in Ukraine and empower those who will help rebuild the economy.
By partnering with the Polish Medical Mission, a humanitarian aid organisation working on the ground in Ukraine, and collaborating closely with the New York Academy of Medicine and others, EIT Health developed one of the first Ukraine rapid response programmes in the EIT Community.
During phase one of our Ukraine appeal, we mapped the country’s most pressing health needs and facilitated medical equipment donations and financial contributions to the Polish Medical Mission. Our support package included 250,000 dressing materials, 10,000 first aid kits and tourniquets, and 131,000 antiseptics.
“More than 135 hospitals were destroyed since the invasion began, and beyond the casualties of war, infectious diseases have also been on the rise as people are in crowded conditions, and the war disrupted vaccination efforts,” said Marta Kaczmarek, Communications Lead, EIT Health InnoStars, who coordinates the Ukraine Appeal. She added, “Tetanus, a bacterium commonly attacking the weakened immune system through a puncture wound, is one of the most significant infectious challenges faced currently in Ukraine.”
To curb the outbreak, EIT Health supported a newly established national vaccination programme against the infection spreading among civilians and soldiers. With the help of its partners, the programme delivered 15,000 vaccines to hospitals in the Kyiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.
With the first phase of the Ukraine Appeal concluded, the focus turns to the long-term future of Ukraine. The critical factor is enabling the country’s best and brightest minds to run their research, develop innovative solutions, and continue their education and businesses. For this reason, the second phase of the EIT Community support for Ukraine will focus on extending education and acceleration opportunities to Ukrainian citizens.
“Retaining the best people is the key to any country’s long-term economic viability, and Ukraine offers tremendous talent in the field of healthcare innovation. To help them succeed at home, we will enable them access to EU-funded programmes such as EIT Jumpstarter to unleash their ideas to help their compatriots in this difficult time, while also contributing to the recovery of the Ukrainian economy”, said Dora Marosvolgyi, coordinator of the EIT Jumpstarter programme.
Considering the risk of brain drain, the EIT Community’s opportunities include a smooth transition to the country when the circumstances allow. Reconstruction efforts will play an essential role in attracting talent back to Ukraine.