UOSSM Completes Fourth Medical Mission in Ukraine Providing Surgical Trainings

Edinburg, TX – UOSSM completed its fourth medical mission in Ukraine which lasted for two weeks in early June. The medical mission included surgical trainings for surgeons on the frontlines and meetings and planning for future UOSSM work in Ukraine.

The surgical trainings, led by UOSSM, and in partnership with the David Nott Foundation (DNF), 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 DNF and team, led by world renowned war doctor, Dr. David Nott, who have worked with UOSSM in the past in Syria and have experience in war medicine in war inflicted areas, wanted to help local doctors and surgeons by providing these vital trainings. The main objective of the Hostile Environment Surgical Trainings (HEST) was to share expertise with local surgeons on the frontlines.


Surgeons receiving HEST training in Ukraine
UOSSM facilitated the logistics of the surgical trainings coordinating with local authorities and invited surgeons with different specialties to attend the courses.

The HEST trainings 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 and engaging training course. The trainee surgeons were very appreciative and felt they benefitted greatly from the training courses. Both cities have been on the frontlines and under attack causing many war injuries. The surgical trainings will help give surgeons the tools and expertise they need to treat war injuries and ultimately save lives. Dr. Nott and team 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.”

In addition to the trainings, one complicated surgery was also performed on a patient with war wounds.
UOSSM will continue to provide medical training to doctors from the expertise gained from over 10 years of war in Syria.
UOSSM and DNF teams at HEST trainings in Ukraine
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 impressed with the work UOSSM is doing on the ground in Ukraine and 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.”
Dr. Sawah met with the director of the Ukrainian Ministry of Public Health Center of Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine, Dr. Vitaliy Kryliuk
UOSSM/David Nott Foundation Surgical Trainings in Ukraine