HOUSTON – The nation’s largest children’s hospital is hosting a community drive to benefit Ukraine.
As the war in Ukraine continues on, here at home, Texas Children’s Hospital is collecting much-needed hygiene items for children and women fleeing Ukraine in Romania. TCH has partnered exclusively with KPRC to get the message about the need out to the greater Houston area.
KPRC 2’s Zach Lashway is the only local reporter to travel to Eastern Europe to cover the humanitarian crisis. Lashway spoke one-on-one with TCH’s Director of Global Michael Mizwa about the hospital’s effort to help refugees.
“We are in this for the long haul, Zach. This is not a one-off, this is going to be something we have to look at it and address over time. I hope this is the first of many opportunities to support our neighbors,” explained Mizwa.
“It’s fascinating TCH had a partnership in Costanzia, Romania. We have had a clinic there for 20 years, addressing a crisis then which was pediatric HIV and as a result of the Ukrainian crisis we mobilized resources on the ground,” Mizwa said.
Mizwa said the issues that have been around for decades have only been exasperated by this war.
“I think what we have seen in the Costanzia/Tushar regions of Romania, which serves the Ukrainian refugees, a lot of vulnerable communities already, Romania communities and now with the surge of Ukrainian refugees it is really burdening the health and social care systems there in that part of Romania. We are seeing the same in Poland as well,” said Mizwa. “What we have seen is healthcare and personal social needs, social needs meaning psychosocial needs, a lot of the children and women coming into our center in Costanzia were dealing with PTSD and also their healthcare needs, especially nutrition, dehydration, the tolls taken on travel, sometimes very far differences.”
This is a fluid situation, so what was needed at the beginning of the war has changed and will likely change again in the months ahead.