For young children, the frantic escape from Ukraine that many have endured is bewildering and confusing. It’s only natural that, once in relative safety in one of the many refugee camps receiving them in eastern Poland, they reach for the candy and other sweets provided by their rescuers.
Hadassah Medical Organization personnel working in the pediatric clinics in Korcsowa and Przemyśl took notice.
Weeks of travel, the stress of an uncertain future, and the grief and sadness of leaving family members behind gave parents and children little time or energy to spend on personal hygiene. Recognizing the need to go beyond caring for those requiring immediate medical attention, HMO doctors and nurses initiated a campaign addressing health prevention, particularly in the area of dental hygiene. Hadassah’s beloved medical clown, David “Dush” Barashi, handed out toys while reminding kids to wash their hands and brush their teeth regularly. Fruit was distributed along with stories about the benefits of eating a healthy diet. Bowls of colorful toothbrushes, toothpaste, and fruit appeared in place of candy and chocolates.
According to Dr. Rivka Brooks, newly appointed head of Pediatrics at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus and a member of the HMO medical mission, “At Hadassah, we are aware that the best medical services are the holistic medical services. Everything is interconnected and anything that might cause problems needs to be taken into consideration. So we observed and analyzed how the hygienic conditions can be improved to make sure things don’t get worse.”