Octapharma Dessau is working with local authorities in the German city to help provide furnished accommodation to refugees escaping the war in Ukraine.
On Friday, April 8, Thoralf Petzold, General Manager for Octapharma Dessau, took possession of the first keys to available apartments from local authorities in the city. Octapharma is investing significantly to properly furnish these properties, with a view to helping as many families as possible to settle in the city and is also providing funding for children’s educational supplies. The authorities in Dessau are also providing opportunities for everyone to learn German as well places in local schools for children.
“When news of the crisis in Ukraine reached us, we knew instantly that we would have to do something to help,” Thoralf explains. “We reached out to local organisations for advice on the way in which we could have the most impact and they informed us that there was a lot of available housing which was however unfurnished, and thus unsuitable for families. With the strong support of our shareholders, we are now making that housing liveable so that refugees, many of whom are already in Dessau, can settle in peace and comfort.”
As part of this initiative, employees of the Dessau site are giving up their free time to help install the new white goods and furniture in each apartment, and also to engage with the city’s newest residents. One such employee is Katharina Fedorow, Import-Export Coordinator at Octapharma Dessau GmbH, and a native Georgian and Russian speaker. Katharina was there from day one when refugees from Ukraine arrived in Dessau. She helps as a translator and provides advice to the refugees.
“There was a war in my homeland Georgia in 2008. I can understand the terrible experiences of the people seeking refuge today in Dessau,” said Katharina. “Ukraine supported Georgia very much at that time. Until today, I remember the help. This experience motivated me even more to help the people from Ukraine now.” Katharina moved to Dessau in 2017 and has worked for Octapharma since 2019.
Octapharma will be providing funding of around €330,000 for this project, one of many initiatives, across the organisation to support Ukrainian refugees. As part of this project, at least 50 families will be able to move into a new apartment which is set up and furnished by Octapharma.
Octapharma Poland has donated a large amount of essential medical equipment, including infusion sets and wound care products, to the paediatric hospital in Lviv, Ukraine.
“In line with our purpose as a healthcare company, we are doing everything possible to ensure our commitment towards human life,” says Robert Tomczak, Sales & Marketing Manager, Octapharma Poland, continuing: “We had an opportunity to help, so we did. Adrian Goretzki, the president of the Polish Healthcare Education Institute, approached us for help and we found one area where we could provide help quickly and properly.”
“We had 629 multi-injection sets for subcutaneous injection of immunoglobulin for patients with primary immunodeficiency. We immediately donated them to the paediatric hospital in Lviv to assure continuation of this life saving treatment.”
Octapharma Poland has been working with external partners to facilitate transport to Lviv despite the current lack of humanitarian corridors in Ukraine.
“We are mindful that the current situation is rapidly changing, so I’m glad we could act quickly and arrange an agreement between all parties as well as to arrange the distribution. Thank you to everyone involved,” adds Jaroslaw Czarnota, General Manager, Octapharma Poland.
The Heidelberg Theatre and Orchestra recently held a solidarity and benefit matinee performance in aid of the victims of the Ukraine War. Wolfgang Marguerre, Chairman and CEO of Octapharma, and patron of the city, personally matched funds raised through ticket donations.
Ernst Lüdemann, Chairman of the Rhein-Neckar branch of the German-Ukrainian Society, thanked all of those involved for their solidarity. He also reported that 36 large shipments of aid had already arrived in Ukraine in the last few days. Care for Ukrainian refugees in Heidelberg was also being ensured. The donations raised by the matinee benefit are now enabling the transportation of more ambulances and aid supplies for Ukraine.
Octapharma’s primary focus remains doing everything necessary to support our employees and their families in Ukraine.
“Our four colleagues from Kyiv are all safe, either in Munich or Western Ukraine. Several do not want to leave the country but there is support in place for them,” comments Dmitri Titov, Vice President EE & CIS.
At the same time, we are also ensuring that our critical medicines and diagnostics reach the people who need them, both in Ukraine and other countries impacted by the crisis. We are also actively working on solutions to ensure continued access to treatment for Ukrainian patients in ongoing clinical trials, including for those who have left Ukraine and moved to other countries.