In the two months since the war in Ukraine began, more than 5 million people have crossed the country’s borders, and another 7.7 million are estimated to have been been displaced internally.

The health needs of these forced migrants are diverse and go far beyond treatment for the effects of bullets and bombs. For instance, many will need ongoing and urgent treatment for conditions such as cancer, diabetes and COVID. While refugee camps offer emergency accommodation, they are no place for people with such complex health-care needs.

Today, we hear from two humanitarian workers and health researchers, Darryl Stellmach from the University of Tasmania and Kamalini Lokuge from Australian National University. Over the past 25 years, they have worked to deliver essential health care in wartime, natural disasters and epidemics. They have been on the ground in situations of forced displacement in Darfur, Myanmar, Thailand, Uganda, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan and Colombia.

Here are their lessons from past humanitarian disasters on what works, and what doesn’t, when dealing with the scale of the crisis we’re seeing in Ukraine.

Anna Evangeli

Deputy Editor: Health

Ukraine refugees need urgent, ongoing health care. We’ve worked in refugee camps and there’s a right way to do it

Darryl Stellmach, University of Tasmania; Kamalini Lokuge, Australian National University

Refugee camps should only be a temporary solution. They’re no place for ongoing health care.

Getting ID after exiting prison is harder than you might think. So we built a chatbot to help

Michele Jarldorn, University of South Australia; Susannah Emery, University of South Australia

We developed a prototype messenger chatbot that helps women in South Australia through the steps involved in acquiring ID after exiting prison.

‘It’s not work-life balance, it’s work-work balance’ Politicians tell us what it’s like to be an MP

Ataus Samad, Western Sydney University; Ann Dadich, Western Sydney University

According to one interviewee, politics is the ‘most physically, intellectually, emotionally challenging role’ they can think of.

A new $2 coin features the introduced honeybee. Is this really the species we should celebrate?

Eliza Middleton, University of Sydney; Caitlyn Forster, University of Sydney; Don Driscoll, Deakin University

Celebrating the European honeybee is a misplaced opportunity to honour our forgotten native pollinators.

3 barriers that stop students choosing to learn a language in high school

Stephanie Clayton, University of Tasmania

Language electives have fewer enrolments compared to other subjects in Australia. New research suggests students are interested in studying languages, but can’t.

It’s not all nomadland: how #vanlife made mobile living a middle-class aspiration

Bronwyn Eager, University of Tasmania; Alex Maritz, La Trobe University

A hashtag has helped turn mobile living from a counter culture into a lifestyle for the affluent.

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