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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 2020

The MEDEVAC Czech Programme in the 2020

  • 3 medical teams deployed to Jordan and Senegal (Hradec Králové University Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital)
  • 265 surgical procedures carried out abroad (ophthalmology, orthopaedics and traumatology); in addition to that, 10 patients were treated using a non-invasive method serving as a substitute for a knee surgery
  • more than 300 specialist examinations with diagnostics
  • 60 patients and their family members evacuated from Belarus to the Czech Republic for treatment
  • 5 online training sessions with a focus on hospital epidemiology in connection with Covid-19 organised for healthcare workers from Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Mauritania and Ukraine (74 participants)
  • support provided to 3 medical projects for renovation of medical centres, medical equipment for hospitals and training of medical staff in Lebanon, Mali and Ukraine worth a total of CZK 15 million (ADRA Int., International Committee of the Red Cross)
  • 2 material donations worth a total of CZK 6.5 million given to Lebanon and Greece (in collaboration with the General University Hospital in Prague, the Fire Rescue Service of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Defence)



Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (February 10th - February 19th, 2020)

The first mission of the year 2020 was undertaken by the many-year fixture of the programme, the three-member team of ophthalmologists from Hradec Králové University Hospital. The team lead by prof. Jirásková operated on 218 patients with advanced cataract over a period of seven operation days in Amman, the capital of Jordan. In keeping with the tradition, the surgeries were without any major complications and the patients were able to go back home on the same day.

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics (February 12th - February 21st, 2020)

The second team who was able to go on a mission under the MEDEVAC Programme still before the spreading of Covid-19 was the orthopaedic team lead by prof. Chomiak from Bulovka Hospital. He screened a total of 48 patients with post-traumatic, congenital and degenerative defects of the musculoskeletal system. 21 of them were chosen for surgery and they underwent a total of 24 surgical procedures over the following days.

Senegal / General University Hospital - Traumatology (October 26th - November 6th, 2020)

In the second half of the year, only one mission was carried due to persisting restrictions. It was the mission of the traumatological team from Olomouc University Hospital lead by Dr. Špiroch, which had been originally planned for the spring of 2020. The five-member team was able to travel to the regional city of Thiés where medical supplies had been waiting for them since March. There were 38 patients screened, most often with post-traumatic defects and injuries to the musculoskeletal system. In spite of minor complications - such as when the only steriliser in the hospital broke down - the team managed to operate on 18 patients, having carried out a total of 23 surgical procedures. During the mission, reconnaissance of a new hospital in the town of Mbour was carried out; unfortunately, this hospital turned out to be unsuitable for the programme’s needs.



Belarus / Evacuation (September - December 2020)

Under Government Resolution No. 878 of 24 August 2020, assistance was provided to persons who were exposed to excessive violence during their participation in anti-government protests in the country and who needed acute medical, rehabilitative or psychological care as a result. A total of 60 patients and their family members aged 14-55 years were received in the Czech Republic and were provided with adequate care.


O N L I N E   T R A I N I N G   S E S S I O N S

Ukraine (June 4th, 2020)

Due to the deteriorating situation, our partner organisations were offered an online training session under the direction of Dr. Petr Smejkal from the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, which concentrated on hospital epidemiology in connection with the spreading of Covid-19. The two-hour lecture and subsequent discussion were attended by healthcare workers from the Kiev Regional Hospital and the Clinical Emergency Care Hospital in Lvov.

Morocco (June 25th, 2020)

Other countries were also interested in receiving training in hospital epidemiology in connection with the spreading of Covid-19. Therefore, the second training session under the direction of Dr. Petr Smejkal took place once again in June and was attended by healthcare workers from the partner hospital CHU Mohammed VI in Marrakech as well as by representative of the local Ministry of Health.

Ghana (September 9th, 2020)

The third training session relating to the spreading of Covid-19 and hospital epidemiology carried out under the direction of Dr. Petr Smejkal was attended by the healthcare workers from the hospital in the city of Cape Coast where a reconnaissance mission was carried out in 2019. Once again, the two-hour lecture and the subsequent debate involved discussing the prevention options and comparing the approaches taken in the two countries.

Mauritania (December 10th, 2020)

We also offered training in this field to those countries, which we had provided with medical equipment through our projects in the past. The recipients of the equipment included medical centres in the cities of Bassikounou and Néma in Mauritania, which we supported with medical supplies under a project of the Lutheran World Federation in 2019. On behalf of the Czech Republic, Dr. Milan Trojánek from Bulovka Hospital participated in the training in addition to Dr. Smejkal.

Kurdistan Region of Iraq (December 15th, 2020)

The last online training session with a focus on Covid-19 in 2020 was offered to physicians and healthcare workers from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq where Dr. Smejkal organises lectures on hospital epidemiology and infectology under the MEDEVAC Programme on a regular basis. Videoconferences were attended by healthcare workers from hospitals in the cities of Erbil and Dohuk as well as by representatives of the regional Ministry of Health.


M A T E R I A L   D O N A T I O N S

Greece (April 2020)

Assistance concentrated on provision of basic sanitation items and other necessary equipment (inflatable mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets, towels) for refugees to prevent the spreading of Covid-19. The donation was fully financed by the MEDEVAC Programme and was given in response to a request from the Hellenic Republic for assistance in prevention of the spreading of the coronavirus in refugee camps. The equipment was procured and transported to Greece in collaboration with the Fire Brigade of the Czech Republic.

Lebanon (August 2020)

In connection with the explosion in the Beirut port, which occurred on 4 August 2020, a consignment of medical supplies, which contained protective overalls (1,000 units), respirators (5,000 units), mouthpiece assemblies (50,000 units), gloves (9,000 units), bandages and medical compresses (3,000 units) and needles (900 units), was prepared in cooperation with the General University Hospital in Prague. This consignment was then transport to Beirut on 12 August 2020 in collaboration with the Fire Brigade of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Defence.


M E D I C A L   P R O J E C T S

Lebanon - Provision of Reconstructive Surgery for Refugees and Other Vulnerable Persons

The project of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) concentrates on supporting medical facilities, which offer free medical care to the most vulnerable inhabitants of Lebanon. One of such facilities is the Traumatological and Training Centre (WTTC) in Tripoli, which provides comprehensive free-of-charge surgical and rehabilitative care to persons injured in conflicts in the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon). In addition to that, the ICRC provides specialised trainings for physicians from all over Lebanon in this centre.

Mali - Support for the System of Provision of Orthopaedic and Rehabilitative Services

By financing a project of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), five centres for physical rehabilitation in Mali were supported - specifically two centres in Bamako and another 3 in the cities of Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu. These medical facilities provide orthopaedic and rehabilitative services to approximately 12,200 disabled persons. The finances are used to procure medical devices, to pay for treatment of and assistance for the most vulnerable patients and, last but not the last, to provide expert assistance and training to the local medical and administrative staff. The support for the project should also help to expand the programme’s activities in this country where future missions are planned exactly in the field of orthopaedics.

Ukraine - Improvement of Medical Care and Prevention of the Spread of Covid-19 in Medical Facilities

The project of ADRA Int., an international non-profit organisation, concentrated on providing apparatuses and protective equipment to improve medical care and to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in medical facilities in central and west Ukraine. Oxygen masks, pulse oximeters, electrocardiographs, disinfectant dispensers, respirators, masks, protective shields, gloves, coats and shoe covers, etc. were distributed to 30 medical facilities.


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

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