Sydney — With the death toll rising from missile and drone strikes almost two years after Russia invaded, Ukraine is urging Australia to share its world-leading approach to treating burn victims.
Doctors say the number of Ukrainians dying from injuries caused by burns during Russia’s invasion is rising sharply and warn Ukraine’s medical system is struggling to cope.
Representatives from the Lviv-based Christian Medical Association of Ukraine are in Australia urging the government to send specialist medical expertise and supplies.
There has been no official government response so far.
Australia has expertise with burn injuries. Many techniques were developed after the terrorist bombings on the Indonesian island of Bali in 2002. Two hundred and two people were killed, including many foreign nationals.
Rudi Myhovych of the Christian Medical Association of Ukraine told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. he hopes the government will send doctors to Ukraine.
“We hope to get teams of plastic burns doctor[s] to Ukraine for [the] short term,” he said. “We respect your time, and we are trying to be careful and maximize all of the help that is in our hands. But also, we plan to send Ukrainian doctors. They can observe and take the knowledge and better skills. So, because [the] amount of cases is unbelievable.”
The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported that at least 10,000 civilians have been killed and upwards of 18,500 have been injured since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022.
Attacks on health care facilities, a lack of medical staff and power shortages have made it harder for victims to receive care during the conflict.
Russia has claimed its invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation” and has insisted it does not target civilians — both of which are refuted by Ukraine, the U.N., the United States and NATO.
Australia is among the largest non-NATO contributors to Kyiv’s war effort, supplying missiles and armored personnel carriers.
The government also has imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian politicians, including President Vladimir Putin, military commanders and businesspeople. They are the most sweeping penalties Australia has ever put on another country.
Additionally, Canberra has banned imports of Russian oil, petroleum, coal and gas.