As horrific footage emerges from Eastern Europe of Russian troops advancing in Ukraine, a war that many people did not expect continues.

Whilst some are asking whether this is the next Cold War, or World War 3, others are experiencing feelings of sheer helplessness at watching the disaster unfold on our screens, as we sit so very far away, safely isolated by the separation from mainland Europe of our island.

Provision of international aid is one of the means by which those not directly involved in a conflict can contribute to its victims. Medical help is essential. With many parts of the country under curfew, families fleeing from their homes and the internal displacement of the nation’s population, normal functioning of the healthcare system in Ukraine is under attack.

As a result of the conflict, the supply of much-needed healthcare resources to Ukrainians has been usurped.

Pharmaceutical supplies, including oxygen, are running low.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has had to stop its crucial work in helping patients with communicable diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.

Routine vaccinations and polio outbreak efforts have been halted.

Ukrainian children with cancer that are now hiding in bunkers will die prematurely if their treatment continues to face disruption.

One Ukrainian anaesthetist emphasised “most of my colleagues have been sleeping in the hospital and working almost 24 hours a day”. Another doctor, a paediatrician, explained how the children in her care are “really very scared. They don’t understand why they need all this treatment to feel this nauseous, and for what? To see a Russian soldier killing people on the street?”

The World Health Organisation is working to strengthen its emergency medicine services, and MSF has adapted its services to mobilise its staff to provide critical care both in and out of Ukraine, for displaced civilians in neighbouring countries. In this time of complete destruction and desperation, what can we do to help?

Funding charities that help to provide medical support is fundamental in helping to support Ukrainian people during this crisis.

Sunflower of Peace uses its donations to provide paramedics and doctors with an influx of supplies, including first aid backpacks for responders.

United Help Ukraine is another not-for-profit organisation that is currently providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian people.

And, closer to home, the British Red Cross has launched an appeal to help those in Ukraine, with donations made to the charity directly helping to provide vital supplies of water, food, medicine and shelter to those affected.

The lives of men, women and children are being lost as you read this. Please help to provide support for them, in any way you can.