Port Macquarie doctor makes a difference on Ukranian front lineJun 07, 2022
Watching Russian troops invade Ukraine from thousands of kilometres away in Australia, Port Macquarie Base Hospital doctor Andriy Boyko felt completely helpless.
The devastation to his native homeland was heart breaking for the Ukrainian-born doctor, with many of his family and friends displaced, fleeing from their homes in Kyiv.
Not wanting to sit back as his compatriots were hiding in bomb shelters or being called to arms, fighting for their basic right of freedom, Dr Boyko decided to take a more hands-on approach.
“I was watching the news constantly, horrified by the destruction of my childhood homeland. I decided I could use my professional skills as a doctor, as well as my personal contacts in Ukraine to set up a medical supply chain,” Dr Boyko said.
After travelling to the battle lines, he started a crowd funding campaign with the aim of providing critical medical support and procuring rapid medical response supplies to the injured.
“I felt empowered that I could make a real difference by using my professional skill set and knowledge on the ground. Helping to aid and minimise further trauma or loss of life to the Ukrainian people who have been caught up in this unprovoked conflict,” he said.
Dr Boyko’s local support system in Port Macquarie has not let him down, with almost $120,000 raised for the cause. This has enabled more than three tonnes of medications and medical equipment to be purchased. These supplies are being distributed to different organisations throughout the war-torn country.
At the Ukrainian-Polish border with a van packed full of medications, the supplies are going to where they are needed most – trauma hospitals and organisations working with orphaned children.
He also met with refugee organisations at the border to determine what support other Australian doctors can provide in the future.
“I am still horrified by what is happening here in Ukraine, but I feel empowered that I am able to do something to help. I am very grateful for all the support I have received,” Dr Boyko said.