'Exhausting' - Hamilton nurse on the ground in Ukraine

Source: 1News

Nurses and doctors working in Ukraine are exhausted, says Hamilton nurse Jessa Pontevedra.

Pontevedra has been in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro for the past six weeks as part of Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

"We're starting to see a system that's getting tired and exhausted," she told Breakfast on Tuesday.

Pontevedra has done nine overseas missions with MSF, and says her time in Ukraine has been the most difficult.

"It feels like 30 missions in total here to be completely honest, just at how quickly the entire context has evolved and we've gone from looking at trauma care from the very beginning to physical trauma care from the very beginning to now."

"I'm exhausted but you know you put your head down and you carry on," she said.

READ MORE: NZ Defence Force will train Ukrainian forces to use specific gun

She says Ukraine is a very resilient country full of resilient people.

"I was just travelling the other day very close to the front line, about 10km, but I see women and children painting the side walk and I was asking one of my Ukrainian colleagues and she said 'life goes on, we just put our heads down.'"

It’s now been nearly three months since Russia invaded Ukraine. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says nearly 4000 civilians have been killed.