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Local doctor shares his humanitarian experience in Ukraine

Russia Ukraine War
Jon Gambrell/AP
Ukrainian flags, with the names of those killed by Russia in the war, are displayed under the Independence Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

A Honolulu surgeon who recently returned from Ukraine said he prays for the end of the war. Dr. Andy Oishi took part in a month-long humanitarian mission through the nonprofit group Samaritan’s Purse.

"Samaritan's Purse wasn't deployed directly to the war zone. We had a home office in the capital city of Kyiv. And we were deployed in various other areas in eastern Ukraine that were trying to get supplies delivered to all the hospitals in the war zone. We were using a delivery system based on local churches," he told The Conversation. "We were part of coordinating those supplies, getting them delivered and making sure that the supplies were used properly."

"It's really quite real that war and the devastation is not something far away, but actually very close to people that have been there — people that live there now," Oishi said. "We are a worldwide community and when one part of our world is hurting, it really affects all of us."

Oishi took leave from his work at Kuakini Hospital, Queen's Medical Center, and the University of Hawaiʻi medical school this summer to go on his third mission with Samaritan’s Purse. He previously assisted during the war in Mosul, Iraq and last year's earthquake in Haiti.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Oct. 12, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at
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