Medicines sent from Sweden to war-torn Ukraine
MSB and the Medical Products Agency work together to coordinate the collection and transport of medicines. The assignment came from the Government in response to a request for support within the framework of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
Intensive work made it possible for the transport to leave Sweden on Sunday, arriving in Poland on Monday. From there, the cargo will be forwarded to Ukraine together with other aid consignments. Many elements must be resolved before the transport of medicines can take place. Permits must be secured, and safety aspects must be considered.
– Ukraine has requested a variety of medicines. In this case, the Medical Products Agency (MPA) quickly identified a suitable donation of requested painkillers and MSB organised the shipment’s transport as part of collective EU support for Ukraine. This was also a test of whether the cooperative arrangement works. Happily, it works very well. We have completed plans for further deliveries of medicines and are continuing to work together, says Roger Gustafsson, project manager at MSB.
In this case, the drugs were donated by a pharmaceutical company.
– It is important to provide assistance that meets existing needs. When donating medicines to Ukraine, Sweden should do so in a coordinated manner and based on the needs that Ukraine communicates. Private initiatives are of course admirable, but greater good can be done elsewhere, for example through established aid organisations, says Lena Björk, Director of Regulatory Affairs at the MPA.
National and international cooperation
Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Ukrainian authorities have requested coordinated assistance from EU Member States, including fire-fighting equipment, vehicles, medical supplies, and tents.
Strengthening actors by providing skills and equipment is one of several important elements of MSB's operational mission. In connection with the war in Ukraine, MSB is providing support to, for example, UNHCR, while also dispatching our own staff and equipment, including a medical team, containers of fire-fighting supplies, tents and generators.
MSB also cooperates with other public authorities and organisations within Sweden. For example, together with the National Board of Health and Welfare and the Medical Products Agency, we have sent ten lorries of essential medical equipment to Ukraine.