Edinburgh, TX – The UOSSM completed its fourth medical mission to Ukraine which lasted two weeks in early June. The medical mission included surgical trainings for front line surgeons and meetings and planning for future work of the UOSSM 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 its team, led by world renowned war physician Dr. David Nott, who has worked with the UOSSM in the past in Syria and has experience in war medicine in war zones, have wanted to help local doctors and surgeons by providing these vital trainings. . The main objective of Hostile Environment Surgical Training (HEST) was to share expertise with local surgeons on the front line.
The UOSSM facilitated the logistics of the surgical trainings in coordination with local authorities and invited surgeons from different specialties to attend the courses.
The HEST trainings included a 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 grateful and felt that they had benefited greatly from the training courses. Both cities were in the front line and attacked, causing many war casualties. Surgical training will help give surgeons the tools and expertise they need to treat war injuries and ultimately save lives.
Dr Nott and his team posted on the David Nott Foundation page: “We want doctors to feel empowered – sometimes all you need is trust. We want doctors to feel inspired to learn and try the techniques they have seen in our course.
In addition to the trainings, a complicated surgery was also performed on a war injured patient.
The UOSSM will continue to provide medical training to doctors based on the expertise gained during more than 10 years of war in Syria.
Dr. Sawah met with the director of the Ukrainian Center for Emergency Medical Aid and Disaster Medicine of the Ukrainian Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Vitaliy Kryliuk (Віталій Крилюк) after the Dnipro training. Dr Kruylik was impressed with the work the UOSSM is doing on the ground in Ukraine and stressed the importance of providing doctors and surgeons with more advanced, structured and life-saving training, and offering train-the-trainer courses (ToTs) to advance the skills of Ukrainian Surgeons to manage and treat wounds in war zones, especially on the front lines to train their fellow Ukrainian surgeons.
UOSSM doctors felt a duty to provide Ukrainian doctors and patients with invaluable support and expertise gained during the 11-year-long Syrian crisis.
Dr Sawah said: “We know exactly how Ukrainian doctors and civilians are feeling and going through. The brutal effects of war…fear…powerlessness…uncertainty…this is why we have chosen to share our experiences and expertise acquired over the past 11 years in Syria, with the people of Ukraine. We want to help save lives. It was heartwarming to see people come up to us and thank us for our support, especially after knowing where we came from and what we had 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 medical 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 aid amid massive displacement over the past three months.”