The fifth Canadian medical mission began its work in Kyiv. These are 26 foreign medical workers: civil surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and a physical therapist. This time, 6 members of the US Army Medical Service Corps joined the Canadian mission for the first time. They all joined voluntarily. “These people [Ukrainian military] give all their strength and risk their lives, so we do our best to support them,” said Khrystina Waler, Director of Humanitarian Initiatives, Canada-Ukraine Foundation, at a press briefing held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The fifth mission is carried out through donations from private donors.
During February 24 – March 5, the mission will give consultations and perform surgeries at the Main Military Clinical Hospital. It will also conduct workshops for Ukrainian specialists. “We have consulted over 80 patients over the past two days and will perform operations during this week. These will be operations reconstructing skull, face and hands,” said Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn, Head of the Adult Craniofacial Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Professor of Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto.
“We plan to operate on 40 patients this week. The final amount will be known only on the last day of operations, because the wounded, including civilians, who were injured in Maidan and in the east as a result of hostilities, turn to us every day,” said Col. Ihor Fedirko, Director of the Craniofacial Surgery and Dentistry Clinic at the Ministry of Defence Main Clinical Military Hospital. Cap. Andrey Sidorenko, US Army, noted that it is also useful for Canadian and US doctors to work with Ukrainian colleagues who gained a wealth of experience of complicated operations over recent years.
“All the necessary equipment will remain in the military hospital after the mission,” noted Oleksiy Barbezyuk, medical colonel, deputy director of the Military Medical Department of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
Dr. Oleh Antonyshyn reminded that during four previous missions Canadian doctors consulted more than 300 patients and performed operations on 127 of them. As part of the 3rd and 4th missions that were partially funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada the equipment and medical supplies worth about 700 thousand dollars were delivered to Ukraine. All this equipment was left in the Main Military Clinical Hospital clinics.
Khrystyna Waler noted that the wounded who need advice can contact the medical mission this week.
Victor Hetmanczuk, President of the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, informed that the Foundation will soon launch the advanced training program for nurses in Ukraine, “Advanced practical guidance for clinical work.” These training courses are held in many countries, including Italy, Belgium and Australia. The total duration of the program is 3 years. “The program is aimed at developing medical care standards, practical use of evidence, sharing knowledge in nursing, facilitating the clinical decision making, filling knowledge gaps and reducing the financial expenditures of hospitals,” he noted. More details about the program will be reported in a month.