UOSSM led a medical mission in Ukraine, in partnership with the David Nott Foundation (DNF), for two weeks in early June. The surgical trainings, Hostile Environment Surgical Trainings (HEST) were led by world renowned war surgeon Dr. David Nott, and his team from the UK, Drs. Pete Mathew and Ammar Darwish. The surgical trainings were planned and facilitated by Dr. Ahmad Dbais and the UOSSM Ukraine team. Dr. Khaula Sawah and Dr. Monzer Yazji, both co-founders of UOSSM USA, joined the surgical trainings.
The HEST training included one three-day course in Dnipro, where 38 surgeons received the training, and another three-day training in Kharkiv, where 30 surgeons received the intensive training course. These areas have both been under fire over the past few weeks. The trainee surgeons were very appreciative and engaged with the training courses.
One complicated surgery was also performed on a patient with war wounds.
Dr. Nott posted on the David Nott Foundation page, “We want doctors to feel empowered – sometimes all that’s needed is confidence. We want doctors to feel inspired to learn and try the techniques they’ve seen on our course.”
Dr. Nott partnered with UOSSM in the past to provide these vital trainings to Syrian doctors in Syria and Turkey, to train them to save lives from war wounds and injuries.
Dr. Sawah met with the director of the Ukrainian Ministry of Public Health Center of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine, Dr. Vitaliy Kryliuk (Віталій Крилюк) after the Dnipro training. Dr. Kruylik was very appreciative of the work UOSSM along with DNF is doing on the ground in Ukraine. Dr. Kruylik emphasized on the importance to provide doctors and surgeons with more advanced, structured, vital trainings, and to provide Training of Trainers (ToTs) courses to advance the skills of Ukrainian surgeons to handle and treat war zone injuries in particular on the frontlines to train fellow Ukrainian surgeons.
UOSSM doctors felt the duty to provide Ukrainian doctors and patients with support and invaluable expertise gained from the 11-year Syrian crisis.
Dr. Sawah said, “We know exactly how the Ukrainian doctors and civilians are feeling, and what they are experiencing. The brutal effects of war…the fear…the helplessness…the uncertainty…that is why we chose to share our experiences and expertise gained over the past 11 years in Syria, with the Ukrainian people. We want to help save lives. It was heartwarming to see people just come up to us and thank us for our support especially after they knew where we came from and what we have been doing for over a decade in Syria. We hope to continue to have more impact in Ukraine, supporting civilians with medical and humanitarian relief, and doctors and healthcare professionals with vital training and support to help save lives.”
Dr. Sawah added, “The UOSSM Ukraine team is making a difference every day with these trainings, mental health workshops, and medical and humanitarian relief amid the massive displacement during the last three months. I would also like to personally thank Dr. Sasha, a young Ukrainian orthopedic surgeon, who played a vital role in the trainings by translating and explaining the complete course materials, and helping to create an engaging environment with the Ukrainian surgeons.”
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