Role of medical volunteers during the pandemic
Medical volunteers: #We’reTogether volunteers have helped more than 3.4 million people during the pandemic
On August 14, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation held an online round table on the topic, “Volunteering during the coronavirus pandemic as a successful experience for the further development of medical volunteering”, where they discussed how volunteers worked during the quarantine.
“Volunteers around the world have been fighting the spread of coronavirus infection. They have been extremely effective. We were all united by the common goal of helping people,” said Elizaveta Khunduma, the conference moderator and coordinator of international projects of the all-Russian public movement Medical Volunteers.
Artem Streltsov, head of the regional development department of the Medical Volunteers movement, spoke about the #We’reTogether campaign launched during the pandemic. “We had 118,000 volunteers working all over Russia, and in four months they helped more than 3.4 million people. Medical volunteers helped both medical staff and people in self-isolation. They bought food and medicines and also provided them with psychological, informational and legal support,” Streltsov said.
He noted that the campaign was also supported by more than 9,000 partner organisations. During the pandemic, people and businesses made donations worth over 1.8 billion roubles.
“The pandemic gave a big boost to the development of volunteerism. 3,000 Red Cross volunteers have been joined by 800 active and 278 spontaneous volunteers – those who have never been engaged in volunteering before,” said Aisulu Kangeldieva, national coordinator of volunteers and young members at the Red Cross society in the Kyrgyz Republic.
In Almaty, the work of volunteers was supervised by the Republic’s Public Association Medical Youth. “More than 30,000 families in the city received support from the operational headquarters of volunteers, who brought food and medicine to people’s homes and provided social assistance. Medical volunteers conducted more than a thousand medical consultations through the headquarters’ call centre,” said Tileubek Nuridin Talgatuly, head of the Almaty branch of the Republic’s public Association Medical Youth.
Elizaveta Khunduma, the conference moderator, noted that one of the important function of volunteers all over the world was to be on duty in medical institutions and airports and to carry out disinfection measures in crowded places.