Ukraine-Spendenaufruf von der Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group (ptbnet)

Dear Paediatric Tuberculosis Network European Trials Group (ptbnet) members, dear friends of ptbnet –

As you are doubtlessly aware, the conflict in Ukraine has taken a dramatic turn for the worse last week. The civil population is suffering and families are being torn apart.

Ptbnet, a research network of clinicians and scientists with special interest in Paediatric tuberculosis, currently has over 300 members, most of whom are based across 33 European countries, and additionally members based in America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The network has a long-standing tradition of collaborating across borders, and greatly values its members in Eastern Europe, many of whom are working tirelessly under resource-constrained conditions.

We have received reports from colleagues in Ukraine, and also seen several media reports, that indicate that health services in the country are beginning to struggle, and are experiencing shortages of medications and consumables, including antiretrovirals and anti-TB medication. It is increasingly clear that the care of children living with HIV and children with TB disease has become compromised as a result of staff and medication shortages.

We have reached out to our 12 Ukrainian colleagues who are based at healthcare institutions across the country – many of whom have been active ptbnet members for many years – asking them how we can help with regards to supporting them as doctors, but also themselves and their families. This communication has proven to be difficult over the last days, partly due to disruptions in phone and internet services.

We believe ptbnet is not in an ideal position to arrange purchase and transport of medication / consumables, which is done more efficiently by international aid organisations that have the required established supply lines. However, we feel that we should do what we can to support local healthcare units financially, especially while financial channels are still open (although there have also been reports of disruptions).

We are therefore asking ptbnet members and the friends of ptbnet to donate generously to support our Ukrainian colleagues. Ptbnet will not retain any of the donations raised by this campaign, but will ensure that all funds are forwarded to our colleagues in Ukraine.

We envisage that the funds will primarily be used for two key purposes: a) to support healthcare for children locally, and b) to support local colleagues and their families during this difficult time (e.g. support for accommodation and travel). Decisions about the allocation of any funds received will be made jointly by the ptbnet steering committee and our Ukrainian colleagues.

Thank you for supporting our colleagues in Ukraine during these challenging times!

Your ptbnet Steering Committee

Dr. Folke Brinkmann (chair), Dr. Florian Götzinger (treasurer), Dr. Matthias Bogyi (secretary), Dr. Begoña Santiago-Garcia (database officer), Dr. Steve Welch (education and training officer), and Dr. Marc Tebruegge (research officer)