Defend Truth


SA’s Aspen announces more pharmaceutical donations for Ukrainian patients

SA’s Aspen announces more pharmaceutical donations for Ukrainian patients
(Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare has donated €300,000 worth of critical care products to Ukraine, bringing its total donations to the country that continues to battle Russia’s invasion to almost €3m.

South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare has announced more donations of critical care products to Ukraine to treat hospitalised patients who have been affected by Russia’s war against the country.

Stavros Nicolaou, Aspen Group senior executive for strategic trade, said on Monday that his company was despatching a further 300,000 worth of Fraxiparine, used in emergency surgeries, and Alkeran, for cancer, to treat patients in Ukrainian hospitals.

This would bring the total donations by Aspen of medical aid for Ukraine so far to about 2.9-million.

“Aspen is highly sensitised to the human suffering that war and conflict brings and which has had a devastating impact on innocent civilians,” he said in a statement.

From left: Ukraine’s ambassador to South Africa Liubov Abravitova, Aspen Pharmacare senior executive Stavros Nicolaou, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and his wife Kateryna Yushchenko during Yushchenko’s recent visit to SA. (Photo: Aspen Pharmacare)

“We are pleased to announce that we are further extending our support to Ukrainian victims of the present-day conflict with much-needed pharmaceutical products.

“We remain committed to providing ongoing humanitarian relief to victims of both natural and manmade disasters, as may be necessary.”

Read more in Daily Maverick: War in Ukraine

Nicolaou noted that Aspen had recently hosted former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko during his official visit to South Africa. At the meeting, Yushchenko expressed his gratitude to Aspen “for the invaluable humanitarian support provided to the people of Ukraine at this very tragic time”.

Yushchenko, who tried to orient Ukraine towards the West, survived an assassination attempt by poisoning in the 2004 presidential election.

Pro-Russia candidate Viktor Yanukovych won the run-off election but there were widespread accusations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation, leading to popular protests in what became known as the Orange Revolution.

The Ukrainian Supreme Court nullified the run-off election and ordered a rerun, which Yushchenko won. Yanukovych ran again for president in the 2010 election and won, but had a sudden about-turn in November 2013, under Russian pressure, and withdrew from signing an association agreement with the European Union. It sparked new mass protests and his eventual ouster as president.

This in turn provoked Russian President Vladimir Putin to order an invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea province and infiltration of its eastern Donbas region in February 2014.

Nicolaou said one of the more important initiatives in Aspen’s humanitarian collaboration with Ukraine’s ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova, was the donations of Alkeran, primarily used for the treatment of paediatric cancer patients at the Filatov Institute of Ophthalmology in Odesa. 

Abravitova thanked Aspen for its solidarity with Ukrainian people and said that Aspen’s latest Alkeran donation had been expedited specifically to assist in the treatment of a six-year-old patient who was at risk of losing her only eye.

In March 2022, Aspen donated life-saving medicines for 62,000 surgeries in Ukraine and also helped to evacuate South African medical students who were stranded in war-torn Ukraine, Nicolaou said. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Sophia M says:

    Am I the only one wondering why they are prioritising Ukraine over South Africa, or even war torn African countries? Or maybe they make similar donations locally/in Africa but it isn’t reported?

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.