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Cleveland doctor details experience at Ukraine-Poland border amid Russian invasion

Dr. Laura Bukavina says the biggest need right now for refugees is medical supplies.

CLEVELAND — Two days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Dr. Laura Bukavina, a urologist from University Hospitals, traveled to the Ukraine-Poland border.  

"I spent most of my time in the medical tent providing medical care to the refugees who are crossing," Dr. Bukavina explains. 

Dr. Bukavina spoke to 3News via Zoom from Philadelphia, where she is doing a fellowship. She said the biggest need right now for refugees is medical supplies, explaining that there are simply not enough resources.

" A lot of people are left without having any ability to take whatever meds they were on," Dr. Bukavina says. "We saw people without their blood pressure medication, without their insulin."

That's where the Cleveland Maidan Association comes in. Andriy Voyetskiy, who has been helping to send supplies to Ukraine, says needs include everything from antibiotics, to over-the-counter medicines.

They have them, but need more at Pokrova Ukraine Catholic Church.  What they don't need is clothing, with the exception of thermal underwear to keep people warm and bring to the border.

Click here for a list of needed medical items that are being collected by Cleveland Maidan Association.

There could be between 5-6 million refugees at the Ukraine-Poland border by the end of this week. About 20,000 to 40,000 a day are crossing and now living in tent cities. Dr. Bukavina says the situation is dire.

"Women with children were waiting 3 to 4 days, either outside, in cars, or buses," she adds. Many of the refugees are arriving ill.   

Meanwhile, Dr. Bukavina says she's going back to Ukraine, because the suffering is to great to stay away. "We plan on going into Ukraine and deliver any of the medications these hospitals need to take care of the soldiers, as well as civilians."

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