Last week IGCS released a statement regarding the unfolding situation in Ukraine. IGCS is fully committed to reducing human suffering from injury, trauma, and disease – anywhere in the world and especially now in Ukraine. Our leadership is currently examining ways that we can best respond to situations of conflict such as this to help offset the subsequent disruption to gynecologic cancer care services.
As UICC has reported, “the majority of people with cancer in conflict-affected areas are unable to get appropriate care, as regions become inaccessible, hospitals and health centres are damaged or destroyed and health workers are injured, killed or displaced. Health systems in neighbouring countries risk being overwhelmed by refugees fleeing these regions, at a time when they are already struggling with a backlog of cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
These are a few of the recent developments and ongoing activities IGCS has and will participate in regarding the humanitarian efforts and support of Ukraine.
Support for our members and patients in the area
We are in direct communication with our colleagues in Poland and other surrounding regions where Ukraine citizens are fleeing to learn what assistance is needed regarding gynecologic cancer services for the displaced and how we can best contribute to their needs. As we learn more about these needs and how we might provide support, we will share specific information with our members about our response.
Collaborate with other organizations
The IGCS leadership has been invited to participate in a special meeting hosted by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the European Cancer Organization (ECO) regarding the impact of the war in Ukraine on cancer. This meeting will focus on tangible actions that can be taken in collaboration with the WHO, EU and other organizations.
Donation to the UICC emergency solidarity fund
IGCS is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and they have established an emergency fund to bridge funding into the region to support the needs of cancer organizations struggling to serve patients affected by the conflict. IGCS has pledged $5,000 to the fund. If you wish to donate to the emergency Solidarity Fund, you can do so by contacting UICC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are encouraged by the outpouring of support from IGCS members and friends who are offering their aid in any way they can, to assist those in the medical community in Ukraine and the areas where many are fleeing.
Please see this summary list of humanitarian organizations that are already working in the region to make an impact and are actively seeking monetary and/or medical supply donations to help in the region. As more support opportunities become available, we will most certainly communicate these and if you would like to make us aware of any humanitarian organizations that could be added to the list, please email email@example.com.
IGCS is grateful to be so well-positioned in the global gynecologic oncology community to foster collaboration in this time of need among our members, friends, and colleagues. We continue to keep the people of Ukraine in our thoughts and prayers and are monitoring the situation closely. We appreciate our organizational associates and partners for reaching out to us to include us and by extension taking into consideration the needs of our patients in these efforts.
Robert Coleman, MD
Mary Eiken, MS