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Types of morbidity presenting in frontline-bordering regions of Ukraine: the experience of deploying additional mobile medical units
  1. Viktor V Semenov1,2,
  2. S Kumar1,
  3. M Y Zak1,3,
  4. O Kuryata2,
  5. A Murach1,
  6. I Syrovatko1,
  7. N Krupchak1,
  8. C Cortellino1 and
  9. G Trombatore1
  1. 1Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine 2 and Phthisiatry, Dnipro State Medical University, Dnipro, Ukraine
  3. 3Department of Internal Medicine, Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University, Mykolayiv, Ukraine
  1. Correspondence to Dr Viktor V Semenov, Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation, Washington, DC, USA; semenovviktvikt{at}


Introduction On 24 February 2022, the full-scale military invasion of Russia into Ukraine has started, creating one of the largest humanitarian crises in Europe since the World War II. As of 27 July 2022 (by the time when the most of Russian advances have already occurred), more than 900 healthcare facilities in Ukraine were damaged and 127 hospitals were destroyed completely.

Methods Mobile medical units (MMU) were deployed in the frontline-bordering areas. An MMU included a family doctor, a nurse, a social worker and a driver, and aimed to provide medical help in remote areas. 18 260 patients who received medical help in MMUs in Dnipro (Dnipro city) and Zaporizhia (Zaporizhia city and Shyroke village) oblasts from July until October 2022 were included in the study. The patients were subdivided by month of visit, area of residence and area of MMU operation. Patients’ sex, age, date of visit and diagnosis were analysed. Comparison between groups was performed using analysis of variance and Pearson’s χ2 tests.

Results Majority of patients were females (57.4%), people aged 60+ years (42.8%) and internally displaced persons (IDPs) (54.8%). The proportion of IDPs increased from 47.4% to 62.8% over the period of study (p<0.01). The most common cause of visit to doctors was cardiovascular diseases (17.9%). The frequency of non-respiratory infections remained stable over the period of study.

Conclusions In the frontline-bordering areas of Ukraine, females, people older than 60 years and IDPs more frequently sought medical help in MMUs. Causes of morbidity in the studied population were similar to the causes of morbidity before the beginning of full-scale military invasion. Maintaining continuous access to healthcare services may be beneficial for the patient outcomes, especially in terms of cardiovascular disease.

  • GENERAL MEDICINE (see Internal Medicine)
  • Organisation of health services
  • Infection control

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it first published. Author name 'Corteillino' has been corrected to 'Cortellino'.

  • Contributors VVS: study design, data collection, statistical analysis, interpretation of results, drafting the manuscript. SK: study conception, study design, data collection, interpretation of results, drafting the manuscript, the guarantor. MYZ: study design, data collection, interpretation of results, drafting the manuscript. OK: interpretation of results, drafting the manuscript. AM: data collection, drafting the manuscript. IS, NK, CC, GT: study design, data collection, drafting the manuscript.

  • Funding The funding for medical assistance in the affected territories of Ukraine came from Project HOPE’s Ukraine General Response pooled fund of donations from individuals, corporations and charitable foundations.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.