17 May 2022

Ireland donates thousands of items to help medics in Ukraine

Ireland donates thousands of items to help medics in Ukraine

As part of an EU-wide effort, the Government and the HSE have donated thousands of items to help Ukrainian medics

As part of an effort to support the health service in Ukraine, Ireland has sent 4,000 blood bags and 50,000 medical masks to to the war-torn country.

The Government, working with the HSE, has donated thousands of items designed to help Ukrainian medics, as part of an EU-wide effort.

Four thousand blood bags were donated by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and sent to Ukraine on Monday from a supplier in Poland, while 10,000 bio-protection suits, as well as 50,000 medical-grade masks and more than 2,500 litres of disinfectant were dispatched on Friday.

The Department of Health confirmed that, alongside the HSE, staff are planning further donations to Ukraine and neighbouring countries as the Russian invasion shows no sign of ending.

A view of a welcome room at a new processing facility for Ukrainian refugees which has been set up at the Old Central Terminal building at Dublin Airport 

The invasion has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly stressed how vital these kinds of donations were.

“The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is devastating. I had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Gerasko earlier this week and am keenly aware of how important these donations are to supporting the Ukrainian response to ongoing conflict,” he said.

“The HSE is coordinating a large number of offers of medicines and medical assistance we can provide, and I look forward to confirming further support shortly.”

Darragh O’Brien, who is Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said: “What is currently happening in Ukraine is an absolute tragedy. We must pull out all the stops that we can to assist the humanitarian effort that is currently under way.

“The Irish Government recognises the horrors of this conflict and will provide whatever humanitarian supports we can. These medical donations are critical to helping in saving lives.”

Ireland has already taken in more than 2,500 Ukrainian refugees, with thousands more people expected to arrive in the coming weeks and months.

The country has already signed up to an EU-wide fund to provide arms and equipment to Ukraine, although Ireland as a militarily neutral nation has committed to providing non-lethal equipment only.

Appearing at an Oireachtas committee on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney indicated that Ireland is preparing to send defence equipment to Ukraine.

He said: “We’re also looking to see what actual gear we can provide as well. We’re making some decisions on that actually shortly having looked at what we have that is spare and available.

“And you’d be surprised – there’s not as much as you might think.

“But there is some military defence equipment that I think would be useful and we’re making decisions on that actually as we speak today. And we’ll get it to Ukraine as quickly as we can.”

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