The Department of State humanitarian program Operation Provide Hope (OPH), working through U.S. private voluntary organizations (PVOs) has been providing assistance to the Former Soviet Union since 1992. This assistance often comes in the form of donated medicines and medical supplies. Sometimes, these donations can mean the difference between life and death.
Kapustitchi, Belarus - Zinaida Konstantinovna Ratchitskaya is an 83 year old retiree who lives alone in the village of Kapustitchi, 20 km from the nearest hospital. In April 2007, Zinaida became so sick that her neighbors called the ambulance for her. She was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, in an acute stage. The local hospital tried to treat her with available medicines to no avail. Doctors then selected Loracarbef; an antibiotic donated in a December 2006 Operation Provide Hope delivery. Following the seven day course of treatment, Zinaida was completely recovered. A blood test confirmed that the pulmonary inflammation was gone. Zinaida expressed her sincere gratitude and best wishes to all Americans: "I am so deeply touched, that your country cares so much about the needs of ordinary people in other countries and the story of my recovery is one of the results of your country's noble mission."
Kolkhozobod District, Tajikistan - Eshonov Mirzomiddinis a 23 year old collective farm worker with a wife and a one-year-old daughter. After being diagnosed with renal colic, Eshonov underwent emergency kidney surgery. The surgery was successful but infection set in soon afterwards, and he suffered from high fever and inflammation around the wound. Fortunately, appropriate drugs to treat his infection were available through Operation Provide Hope. Eshonov says "Nobody knows how it will go if [the] hospital has not such a great and free of charge medications. Thanks for this magic drug. Now I can return to my home and care for my family."
Kumsangir, Tajikistan - Abdumuminov Umurzoq is 12 years old, and was recently admitted to the hospital with colic, fever, nausea and vomiting. He underwent emergency surgery and was given drugs provided through Operation Provide Hope as a part of his treatment. Now, in preparation for a second surgery, Abdumuminov is again being treated with donated drugs from the OPH program. His father, who is staying in the hospital with him, says he is grateful for the donated medicines. "Being a collective farm worker I cannot afford to buy such good, effective and expensive medicine which saved the life of my son." To him, these medicines were "priceless."
Chkhorotsku District, Georgia - LelaKhuntsaria is a 25 year old Internally Displaced Person from Abkhazia. She left school in the eighth grade to help her family work their farm and to care for her younger siblings. Lela recently developed an acute respiratory infection, but could not afford treatment - she couldn't even afford to stop working. After five days she was taken by ambulance to the Zugdidi Central Hospital in critical condition, and was diagnosed with acute pneumonia. Thanks to medicines and supplies donated through the OPH program, Lela received free medical treatment. She stayed at the hospital for 20 days and returned home completely recovered. Lela says: "It's hard to believe now that not too long ago I was lying in the hospital bed in critical condition. I am happy to return to my normal life; I am happy to discover that there are people ready to help me even from far away. I would like to say thank you to the American people for their assistance."