South Africa: From a Township Hospital in South Africa to the Ukraine Border, an Expat Doctor Has Seen the Trauma of Poverty and Now War

analysis

Russian forces may have been pushed from the outskirts of Kyiv, but they are pressing harder along the front in the east and south of the country. A Cape Town doctor has seen a corresponding uptick in the number of refugees and patients at the makeshift medical station where she volunteers.

Dr Natalia Novikova's daily commute these days requires a little more creative thinking than her usual rush-hour drive to and from her doctor's practice in Cape Town's city centre.

On a cool, glistening spring morning on her way to the Ukraine border from her hotel in the nearby Polish town to Przemysl -- now colonised by armies of NGO workers -- Novikova winds her rental car through narrow rural backroads, past fields of dandelions and neat, blossoming backyard orchards.

The 40-something gynaecologist, originally from Kyiv, is here on a volunteer stint treating patients at the Medyka border crossing, which has seen an exodus of refugees since the war began.

This is her second tour to the border after a stint in mid-April -- she can only leave her work and three kids for about a week at a time -- and Novikova is still feeling her way around the...

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