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“Kherson and Kherson Oblast Choose Health”: Alliance for Life

How is it to hear that you have cancer and not to give up? Does pain remit after a loss of relatives? Where should you find strength when it seems that cancer is unstoppable? Organizers and executives of the social medical program “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health” have “laid their cards on the table” about the personal motivation and personal fight for life during the press-conference.

What has alienated public figures, doctors, the publicity and state institutions?

What forces people make their personal issues public and galvanize others into actions?

The viewing of promotional video of the social program “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health” presentation was taken with frayed nerve. Nobody has ever expected such kind of outspokenness. There was a complete silence in the hall when a young and healthy woman, Head of Kherson Women Union, Iryna Nikolayeva said straightforwardly for the camera that she has defeated cancer twice (!) as she had recognized it on the early stage. The family of Chief Physician of the Medical Center “Taurt Medical” Oleksii German have lost mother because of the breast cancer, though she was an Obstetrician-Gynecologist, but didn’t diagnose a case in time. The founder of the charity Fund Ievhen Ryshchuk has lost his father because of this terrible disease…

The review of the video made everyone think over the fact that we lose relatives, someone we know, colleagues and friends because of oncologic diseases.

“Only 4% of patients can be treated with cancer, diagnosed on the terminal stage. Early recognition of this disease saves life. This number increases up to 95%. That is why it is important to explain this to people, speak about it, remind about preventive measures and stimulate to attend a medical oncological examination at least once a year. Currently around 2000 cancer patients die from this disease per year. Just because they consulted the doctor too late”, stated Chief Physician of Kherson Oblast Oncological Dispensary Iryna Sokur.

The press-conference as a tool “to beat the alarm”

On November 6th, 2018 the organizers and executives of the social medical program “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health”, that was organized for the mass media representatives, the publicity and government, spoke not only about the personal motivation. Plan of actions within the Program, its financing and the first results of its fulfillment were also discussed. Summing up, Associate Agreement was signed between CO “Kherson Women Union”, Kherson Oblast Charity Fund of Ievhen Ryshchuk, Medical Center “Taurt Medical”, Kherson Oblast Oncological Dispensary and LLC “Auto-Plaza”. The spheres of responsibility and cooperation mechanisms were also defined in the document.

As the Head of CO “Kherson Women Union” Iryna Nikolayeva mentioned, the program is called to prevent and early recognize oncological diseases among women and children from the distant regions of Kherson Oblast. As mainly in territorially remote regions it is impossible to receive a quality medical examination. The public activist told that within this Program, the mobile teams of doctors started their work in Kalanchak Region on October 27th; around 150 patients have already received medical services since then. Financial resource of the Program now permits coverage of around 3000 patients.

The significance of this program fulfillment was emphasized by the Chief Physician of Kherson Oblast Oncological Dispensary Iryna Sokur. She stated that Kherson and Kherson Oblast has a sad upper hand among three first oblasts that has the highest rate of patients with malignant tumors:

“Probably, we are really good at diagnosing, and we have such a high morbidity rate. But it is more likely that because of poor attendance of the preventive examinations by Kherson women, cancer on terminal stages is mostly detected here. This hurts the chances to recover drastically”, mentioned I. Sokur.

I. Sokur added that the preliminary results of the patients’ blood surveys from Kalanchak Region signal about alarm changes of many women’s blood, that can be the result of the accident at the plant “Titan”, that has sent shockwaves around AR Crimea this autumn.

“There is a basic stuff that helps to protect ourselves from the disease. This is a healthy lifestyle, attention towards own health and quality contraception. It is of vital importance to speak about that, explain to the youth. Also, it should be mentioned that women of 65 and more are in a high-risk group, they need to pass medical examination at least once a year. For more people to hear us, we bank on support of media and the publicity. And if we are able to save at least one life, all this won’t be in vain,” – stated a Chief Physician of Medical Center “Taurt Medical” Oleksii German.

The Doctor emphasized that living in XX century, with such a level of medicine and medical services, we can’t have people dying from cancer just because they reside in a remote region…

Set the record straight

As the implementation of the social program “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health” has aroused lots of speculations and rumors, the organizers decided to dwell on the political, financial questions and possible spheres of influence due to this project in detail.

“We are open to cooperation. If someone wants to become a co-executive of the program, we will support him. There is no politics or PR in it, just work in particular. And if business people would like to help us, we will embrace more settlements and more people will pass the medical test. Right now we are focused on Kalanchak and Chaplynka Regions, bordering with AR Crimea. But if more people join us to help, we will go to other regions with great pleasure,” – noticed the founder of the Charity Fund, Deputy of Oblast Council Ievhen Ryshchuk.

According to Ievhen Ryshchuk’s words, the idea of the program’s “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health” creation appeared during the celebration of Ukrainian charm and traditions “Ivana Kupala” that has welcomed around 4000 guests. There and then the organizers managed to raise around 137,000 uah for the charitable purpose (oncological medical examination in the remote regions of Kherson Oblast). Mainly this sum became the ground for the Program’s first stage implementation.

“The least I thought about, when I decided to support the Program, was politics or show off issues like patriotism. When there is a credit in what you are doing, and you trust people, united by this idea, then you have all the possibilities for work. This tandem, which has appeared around this Program, inspires and energizes. And I sincerely wish for such initiatives to increase!” – stated the Managing Director of LLC “Auto-Plaza” Valerii Borzhkov.

Her own experience of volunteer activity and her own story of losses and fight with hard disease were shared by the guest of the conference – the volunteer from Nova Kakhovka, a Librarian of State Educational Institution “Vocational Technical School #14 of Nova Kakhovka” Oksana Filipenko.

Everyone can participate in the Program

At the end of the press-conference, the organizers and executors of the Program stated that the mobile journeys of the teams of doctors will obligatory be announced. And everyone interested – either journalists, or volunteers – can join these trips as onlookers, or assistants.

“Sometimes even a word heals. To support a woman that is nervously standing in the queue, to play with a child, to bring tea to a patient. Everything is a deed of help in our mutual project for life,” – noted the Head of Kherson Women Union Iryna Nikolayeva.

You can view the complete promotional video of the presentation of social program “Kherson and Kherson Oblast choose health” at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3lRoFjKrgU&feature=share

Photo: Aliona Martynenko

Translated by Anastasia Kyselyova

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