It is with enormous sadness and concern that we at the European Stroke Organisation (ESO) have witnessed the war in Ukraine. While ESO remains an apolitical organisation focussed on healthcare and stroke science, we deplore this war and see no place for violence in settling disputes of any kind. We are clear in our position that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and indiscriminate attacks by Russian military forces endangering Ukrainian non-combatant civilians are unjustified and wrong, and we support our colleagues and citizens within Ukraine at this time.
Armed conflict directly endangers patients and health professionals, and disrupts the safe and effective delivery of treatment to patients with stroke. We appeal for an instant and peaceful resolution to stop the enormous suffering that is already ongoing.
Communication remains key to any peaceful solution. We ask our politicians, academic partners, and members to continue working towards a negotiated peace. As an academic society, we unite to reduce the burden of stroke. Today we are united with national stroke organisations in our support for colleagues and citizens in Ukraine and peace in Europe.
ESO actively supports organisations that are setting up relief efforts to help civilian casualties and refugees in the region. Therefore, the ESO Executive Committee has taken the decision to donate EUR 10,000 to Médecins Sans Frontières, which is mobilising to support health needs for Ukraine. We encourage our members to donate as individuals to MSF, the International Red Cross, and other healthcare agencies assisting in the response in Ukraine.
We also plan to activate our professional community to directly assist our colleagues that need direct support, and patients who may need transfer to hospitals outside Ukraine in order to receive appropriate care. ESO will establish a task force to connect Ukrainian stroke physicians and patients with ESO members throughout Europe.
We remain committed in our support for Ukraine and hopeful for a peaceful conclusion to this crisis.
Else C. Sandset
Bart van der Worp
Diana Aguia de Sousa
Member at Large
Member at Large
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MEDECINES SANS FRONTIERS
Doctors without Borders – which provides medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare.