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Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC

MEDEVAC is a permanent government programme of the Czech Republic, which focuses on providing medical care and assistance for vulnerable groups of persons in the countries affected by migration or burdened by a large number of refugees. The care provided is free of charge and exclusively for civilians - persons, who are in dire of such medical care or whose condition prevents them from leading a dignified life. 


MEDEVAC in 2021

The MEDEVAC Czech Programme in the 2021

  • A total of 487 patients underwent operations in 6 specialist fields (paediatric heart surgery, gynaecology, ophthalmology, ENT, plastic surgery, traumatology);
  • 2 reconnaissance trips took place with a view to widening the field of operations of the MEDEVAC Programme (Ghana, Georgia);
  • A total of 29 persecuted medical staff and their family members were evacuated from Belarus to the Czech Republic;
  • 8 healthcare projects were supported with a sum of CZK 40 million for building healthcare infrastructure in Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria;
  • 4 specialist internships in the Czech Republic for interns from Ghana, Senegal and Ukraine (physiotherapy, gynaecology);
  • 2 training sessions for healthcare staff abroad in the fields of gynaecology and infectology (Georgia, Iraq) and 1 online training session in infectology alone (Peru);
  • In total, 376 healthcare staff from Ghana, Georgia, Iraq, Peru, Senegal and Ukraine were trained in 3 specialist fields (physiotherapy, gynaecology, infectology).



Senegal / University Hospital Brno, University Hospital Olomouc - traumatology (March 22nd - April 2nd, 2021)

A five-member team of healthcare staff from University Hospital Brno and Olomouc University Hospital led by MUDr. Petr Špiroch, Ph.D., performed operations on a total of 25 patients in Thiès, Senegal. These were mainly victims of traffic accidents with injuries to the lower limbs, which are a frequent result of the absence of transport infrastructure. The medical team also gave furry toys to the local children, which were donated by the public as part of a collection organised by the Military University Hospital, Prague.

Georgia / Bulovka Hospital, General University Hospital - reconnaissance gynaecology mission (May 16th - May 20th, 2021)

A reconnaissance mission to Georgia took place between 16 and 20 May. Over the course of three days, Prof. MUDr. Michal Zikán, Ph.D., from the Bulovka University Hospital and Prof. MUDr. Jiří Sláma, Ph.D., from the General University Hospital, Prague met representatives from various Georgian institutes and medical colleagues in the cities of Tbilisi, Zugdidi and Batumi.

Ghana / Bulovka Hospital - gynaecology + reconnaissance mission by University Hospital Brno (June 14th - June 24th, 2021)

A medical team from the Bulovka University Hospital led by Prof. MUDr. Michal Zikán, Ph.D., followed up on the first mission of December 2019 again visiting Tamale Teaching Hospital, which is the only hospital serving the entire region of northern Ghana. A total of 50 patients, most of whom were at an advanced stage of cancer, were operated on over the course of five days. The mission also included an educational element, not just for doctors, but also for assistant anaesthetists and instrument nurses who had the opportunity to learn much on such demanding cases. The team was also accompanied Doc. MUDr. Vít Weinberger, Ph.D., head of the children’s and maternity clinic of Brno University Hospital, for a short reconnaissance mission.

Lebanon / VF General University Hospital, Prague - ophthalmology (May 30th - June 12th, 2021)

Over the course of 10 days in the operating theatre, a two-man team led by MUDr. Petr Sklenka performed a total of 97 cataract operations. Unlike the first mission in the spring of 2019 when the vast majority of patients were Syrian refugees, this year most of our patients were actually Lebanese citizens who, due to the poor economic situation in the country, cannot afford health care.

Jordan / General University Hospital, Prague - traumatology (September 8th - September 17th, 2021)

The General University Hospital trauma team, led by MUDr. Filip Burget, Ph.D., operated on a total of 28 patients, mainly Syrian refugees. The operations included badly mended fractures which were extremely painful for the patients, also limiting their movement and preventing them from performing ordinary, everyday activities. Thanks to the procedures performed by the trauma team, most patients were able to return to everyday life and some of those who arrived at the hospital in a wheelchair were able to leave hospital on their own two legs.

Jordan / University Hospital Královské Vinohrady - plastic surgery (September 29th - October 8th, 2021)

A plastic surgery team from the University Hospital Královské Vinohrady, led by Prof. MUDr. Andrej Sukop, Ph.D., performed surgery on 16 children and 3 adult patients at Shmaisani Hospital. The medical team focused on operations for children with congenital limb deformities and surgery on patients with badly healed wounds which made movement difficult for these patients.

Ghana / University Hospital Brno - gynaecology (October 12th - October 23rd, 2021)

The gynaecology team from University Hospital Brno, led by Doc. MUDr. Vít Weinberger, Ph.D., embarked on their first ever mission under the MEDEVAC Programme and they performed their task with great success. At the hospital in Tamale, a total of 42 patients with complex diagnoses were operated and for the whole duration of the mission, the team was also intensively involved in educating the local healthcare staff both in diagnostic procedures and in practical work in the operating theatre.

Ghana / Olomouc University Hospital, University Hospital Brno, University Hospital Královské Vinohrady - traumatology (November 1st - November 12th, 2021)

A team comprising healthcare staff from University Hospital Brno, University Hospital Královské Vinohrady and Olomouc University Hospital, led by MUDr. Petr Špiroch, Ph.D., participated in its first trauma mission to Ghana and the first ever mission to the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital. In the course of the mission, 35 operations were performed on 30 patients, poor inhabitants of Ghana, with unhealed wounds, nerve paresis, infections and acute injuries. The operations and quality medical treatment provided under the MEDEVAC Programme will restore their mobility and allow them to return to a normal life.

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - paediatric heart surgery (November 1st - November 12th, 2021)

A team of paediatric cardiac surgeons from Motol University Hospital, led by MUDr. Petr Bukovský, operated on a total of 14 patients, which comprised mainly new-born babies and children with congenital heart defects. The poorest inhabitants of Jordan, mainly from the Syrian and Iraqi refugee communities were chosen to be operated on by the paediatric heart surgery team.

Senegal / Bulovka University Hospital, Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital - gynaecology, ENT, traumatology (November 8th - November 27th, 2021)

A total of three missions took place in Senegal in November - our partner hospital in Thiès was first visited by trauma surgeons from the General University Hospital in Prague and a team of gynaecologists from the Bulovka University Hospital (the mission was led by Doc. MUDr. Filip Burget, Ph.D., on behalf of the General University Hospital and MUDr. Petr Hubka, Ph.D., on behalf of Bulovka), followed by a team of ENT specialists from Motol University Hospital (led by Prof. MUDr. Jan Plzák, Ph.D.).

Our doctors managed to operate on 19 trauma patients, 35 gynaecology patients and 67 patients with ear, nose and throat complaints (which is a record for ENT in Thiès), (again) all under not completely standard conditions. None of these patients could normally afford the operation they needed and so some of them had been waiting a whole year for this opportunity.

Lebanon / General University Hospital - ophthalmology (November 14th - November 20th, 2021)

An ophthalmology team from the General University Hospital in Prague, led by MUDr. Petr Sklenka, performed cataract operations on a total of 60 patients in Beirut. Unlike the first mission, which focused mainly on Syrian refugees, this time the patients comprised Lebanese people who cannot afford healthcare treatment due to the deep economic and financial crisis in the country.


M E D I C A L   T R A I N I N G

Peru / Bulovka University Hospital, IKEM - infectology (February 9th, 2021)

During a three-hour video conference with the participation of MUDr. Milan Trojánek and MUDr. Viacheslav Grebenyuk from the Bulovka University Hospital’s Clinic of Infectious, Parasitic and Tropical Diseases and of MUDr. Petr Smejkal, head epidemiologist at IKEM, over 90 attendees from Peru learned how Covid units function in the Czech Republic, the recommended treatment for patients with Covid-19 and all about vaccination and testing in Czech hospitals.

Ghana / Brno University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - gynaecology (April 20th - May 8th, 2021)

Shortly before the end of April, the chief physician of the gynaecology and maternity department of the MEDEVAC partner hospital in Ghana, the Tamale Teaching Hospital, came to visit Prague.  During her two-week internship she visited the Bulovka University Hospital and Brno University Hospital where she had the opportunity to become acquainted with how Czech hospitals and gynaecology and maternity clinics are run and organised, to see all different types of operations in the operating theatre and to visit the outpatients clinic and see patient diagnosis procedures.

Iraq / IKEM - infectology (May 22nd - May 27th, 2021)

At the end of May, MUDr. Petr Smejkal, head epidemiologist from the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM), took part in a training mission in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, under the MEDEVAC Programme. He gave three seminars in the cities of Erbil and Sulaymaniyah on the topic of the Covid-19 pandemic and one seminar devoted to the topic of infection in hospitals, which were intended both for medical specialists and academics, and for local officials active in inter-disciplinary coordination of measures to fight the epidemic. In the course of three days, a total of 239 persons attended the series of seminars.

Ukraine / General University Hospital - online physiotherapy training (May 26th, 2021)

In cooperation with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the General University Hospital First Faculty of Medicine in Prague, online training took place focusing on physiotherapy for patients with a severe case of Covid-19, rehabilitation of post-acute Covid patients and treatment of soft tissues in patients who have recovered from Covid-19. The seminar was attended by representatives of Kiev Regional Clinical Hospital and universities in Kiev, Lutsk, Lvov and Ternopil.

Senegal / University Hospital Brno, Bulovka University Hospital - gynaecology (September 4th - September 18th, 2021)

Chief physician of the gynaecology and maternity department of our partner hospital in Thiès was given the opportunity to make a two-week visit to the Czech Republic to view numerous interesting operations, taking a wealth of new experience home with her. In addition to this internship, Czech doctors also help on the spot in Senegal where MEDEVAC has been sending gynaecology teams since 2017, contributing towards long-term improvement of quality of care for patients in Thiès.

Ukraine / General University Hospital - physiotherapy (October 2nd - October 9th, 2021)

In October, the General University Hospital in Prague hosted an internship of 5 university lecturers from Kiev, Lutsk, Lvov and Ternopil. The internship was a follow-up to intensive three-day training in the spring of  2019 and online training this spring and the aim was to further deepen their knowledge in the field of neurological physiotherapy and ergotherapy, both for use in practice and to be passed on to students.

Ukraine - Bulovka University Hospital - physiotherapy (October 3rd - October 16th, 2021)

Bulovka was visited by 4 healthcare staff from the Kiev Regional Clinical Hospital, which is a long-term partner of the MEDEVAC Programme. A doctor (child orthopaedist), a nurse and two physiotherapists underwent training in the field of orthopaedic rehabilitation; emphasis was also placed on the importance of cooperation between the doctor, the nurse and the physiotherapist in the patient care process.

Georgia / Bulovka University Hospital, General University Hospital - gynaecology (December 6th - December 11th, 2021)

Following up on the reconnaissance trip in the spring, the first ever training mission in Georgia was undertaken. Lectures in gynaecologic oncology were delivered to our Georgian partners in Zugdidi, Rukhi and Batumi by two foremost specialists in the field, Prof. MUDr. Michal Zikán, Ph.D., from the Bulovka University Hospital and Prof. MUDr. Jiří Sláma, Ph.D., from the General University Hospital in Prague. The aim of this training is to support regional healthcare centres and to develop the healthcare sector outside the capital, which is very geographically remote for the inhabitants of western Georgia.



Belarus (February - April 2022)

Due to continuing persecution of Belarusian citizens by Alexandr Lukashenko’s regime, on 1 February the Czech government in its Resolution no. 95 approved assistance for Belarusian healthcare workers who had lost their jobs in consequence of participating in demonstrations, or else providing medical care to injured protestors. From February to April 2022, a total of 29 persons arrived in the Czech Republic - Belarusian healthcare workers and their family members - who were given the opportunity of employment and assistance with integration into this country.


H E A L T H C A R E   P R O J E C T S

In 2021, the MEDEVAC Programme supported a total of 8 projects for building healthcare infrastructure, donating in total an amount of CZK 40 million.

Iraq - securing access to reproductive, natal and postnatal care

A project run by CARE International is aimed at improving access to reproductive, natal and postnatal healthcare in post-war western Mosul. In the course of the project, the purpose of which is to support two hospitals in Mosul that were completely destroyed during the fighting with IS, equipment for delivery rooms and neonatal departments and healthcare staff will be trained in pre-and postnatal care and family planning.

Mauritania - equipping healthcare centres in Mbour

The MEDEVAC Programme again supported a project by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) which we had already supported in 2019. The aim of the follow-up project was to equip two healthcare centres for surgical and postnatal care, to purchase laboratory apparatus, to train healthcare staff and for an awareness campaign for the local inhabitants about the importance of prevention and timely health care.

Nigeria - provision of rehabilitation and orthopaedic services

A project by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supports the National Orthopaedic Hospital in the city of Kano, which is the only healthcare facility in northeast Nigeria that provides orthopaedic and rehabilitation services and also the newly opened Maiduguri Teaching Hospital - UMTH. Component to the project is the supply of medical materials, arranging for transportation and healthcare for patients from far-away rural areas, and also healthcare staff training. The project also involves the creation of job opportunities and sports activities for inhabitants of Nigeria with disabilities.

Burkina Faso - ophthalmological care in the Hauts-Bassins region

The MEDEVAC Programme supported a follow-up project run by Light for the World, focused on the provision of ophthalmological care in the Hauts-Bassins region of Burkina Faso. In addition to actual health care, the project will organise the purchase of medical apparatus, material and training for the healthcare staff at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Souro Sanou with a catchment area of 6 million, including inhabitants from surrounding states.

Mali - supporting maternal and newborn care

The aim of this supported project run by CARE International in Mali is to improve urgent maternal and newborn care and to raise awareness of the local community concerning female circumcision and prevention of Covid-19 in the Ségou region. Under the project, healthcare facilities will be equipped with materials and apparatus for maternal and newborn healthcare. The project also includes healthcare staff training and an awareness campaign among young people about the risks involved with female circumcision and in hygiene and Covid-19 prevention. Awareness activities will take place in schools and also at football matches.

Kenya - rehabilitation for refugees and inhabitants of north Kenya

The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) aims at improvement of provision of quality care and rehabilitation for refugees and inhabitants of the Dadaab district in northern Kenya and is attempting to eliminate the high costs involved with transfer of patients away from the area. The Dadaab Health Centre serves the local community and refugees from the refugee camps in Dadaab, who come mainly from Somalia. The project activities include purchasing equipment for basic surgical procedures, for comprehensive maternal care, equipping a laboratory and purchasing apparatus needed for orthopaedic care and rehabilitation. The project also involves training healthcare centre staff in the use of apparatus and equipment, work in the laboratory, sterilisation, waste management, financial management and administration.

Afghanistan - support of primary healthcare for Afghanis and internally displaced persons

A pecuniary donation made to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) supports a primary healthcare programme in Afghanistan. The beneficiaries will be inhabitants of Afghanistan, including internally displaced persons. Under the project, the ICRC aims to arrange for access to primary healthcare for children and adults, which is otherwise unavailable in many parts of Afghanistan.

Georgia - support of gynaecologic cancer screening and gynaecological care

A project run by Caritas Internationalis for improvement of the quality of oncology care for women in western Georgia. Under the project, at least 10 doctors and 15 nurses from hospitals in Rukhi, Batumi, the screening centre in Zugdidi and the hospital in Gali will be trained. Furthermore, specialised oncology apparatus will be purchased and installed in hospitals in Rukhi and Batumi and also to Gali Hospital in v Abkhazia. Under this project, at least 200 doctors from healthcare centres in the provinces will be trained in outpatient oncology care and diagnosis and an awareness campaign will be conducted in communities.


Department of Asylum and Migration Policy, January 5th, 2024

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