“For example, someone with diabetes who doesn’t have their normal medication might find it difficult to avoid carbs if they are in a refugee camp where rice and beans are being served,” Jones said. “A lot of times, you need to come up with creative solutions to these problems, which often involves increasing personal resiliency.”
Jones said it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when giving humanitarian aid in conflict zones. In Colombia, he stayed in touch with local business owners, including grocers, hairdressers and taxi drivers, to find out times when it wasn’t safe to be outside. In Ukraine, he knew the threat of a bombing meant hunkering down with his team in a bunker beneath the Ministry of Healthcare building.
“More than 50 of us were piled into a room built for 20, and the doors were two or three inches thick of solid steel,” he said.
MedGlobal managed to send about $500,000 worth of urban combat supplies to the cities of Kherson, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia and Zaporizhzhya as part of the mid-March deployment. Jones returned with the group March 30 to provide further aid.
“This stuff is nerve-wracking,” he said. “It’s intolerable to watch people undergo these hardships when there’s something you can do about it.”