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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 2017

In 2017, the MEDEVAC Programme was implemented under the Resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic No. 956 of 20 November 2015, which established the Permanent Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC. On the interdepartmental level, the Programme is coordinated by the Working Group for Implementing the MEDEVAC Programme.

In 2017, the Working Group held two meetings, i.e. similarly as in 2016. The third meeting of the Working Group took place at the Ministry of the Interior in February. The territorial priorities of the MEDEVAC Programme and the forms of its implementation in 2017 were approved. The fourth meeting of the Working Group took place at the Ministry of the Interior in September 2017. At this meeting, the results of the MEDEVAC Programme for the 1st half of the year 2017 and the interim financial report were presented and respective projects were adjusted according to the current situation.

In 2017, the Programme focused specifically on sending Czech medical teams abroad, on training and educating foreign medical staff, on increasing the capacities in the healthcare sectors of foreign partners of the MEDEVAC Programme and on making financial donations abroad to support and develop healthcare infrastructure.

In 2017, the MEDEVAC Programme was implemented in ten countries, which reflected the territorial priorities of the MEDEVAC Programme. In the Middle East, the Programme operates in Jordan, Iraq, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and, most recently, a planning mission to Lebanon has taken place. In Africa, the Programme operates in Morocco and Senegal. In 2017, a planning mission to Ethiopia was also carried out. The MEDEVAC Programme has been operating in Ukraine on a systemic and long-term basis. A minor project was implemented in Nepal. The Children’s Heart Centre of the Motol University Hospital operated in Cambodia as part of the MEDEVAC Programme.

The actual implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme is ensured by Czech hospitals under the direct responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defence, specifically by the following hospitals: Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital in Prague, Bulovka Hospital, Military University Hospital, and most recently Královské Vinohrady University Hospital. In terms of hospitals based outside of Prague, Olomouc University Hospital and Hradec Králové University Hospital are involved.

The finances, with which the MEDEVAC Programme was able to perform its activities in 2017, amounted to a total exceeding 69 million CZK.

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2017

  • 19 medical teams were sent abroad with the participation of 6 Czech hospitals (Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital, Hradec Králové University Hospital, Military University Hospital)
  • 957 professional surgeries were carried out abroad (in the fields of ophthalmology, traumatology, orthopaedics, reconstructive and plastic surgery, children’s cardiac surgery, gynaecology, ENT)
  • 935 patients underwent surgery (Jordan, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Senegal, Morocco and Cambodia)
  • more than 1,500 professional examinations with diagnostics
  • 210 non-invasive procedures were carried out
  • 6 reconnaissance trips abroad to prepare future missions of the MEDEVAC Programme in given countries (the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Lebanon, Ukraine, Morocco, Senegal, Ethiopia)
  • 1 medical humanitarian evacuation from Ukraine to the Czech Republic for treatment
  • 1 visit of foreign physicians to the Czech Republic as part of preparations for future missions
  • 3 internships of foreign medical staff in Czech hospitals for a total of 11 persons
  • 1 training with a focus on rehabilitation in Ukraine (15 participants)
  • partnership of the MEDEVAC Programme for the 2017 Prague Surgical Days conference
  • participation of the MEDEVAC Programme in the 2017 Prague Museum Night
  • 2 financial donations totalling 9 million CZK for the equipment of hospitals and training of physicians in Mosul, Iraq (Caritas, CARE)


Nepal / General University Hospital - Training (January 10th - January 23rd, 2017)

In early 2017, a team of the General University Hospital in Prague travelled to the Dhagpo Sheydrub Ling Monastery, a Buddhist monastery in Nepal. The training provided under the guidance of experienced professionals was attended by 8 monks and 4 nuns who should provide basic medical treatment in the future in areas where primary health care is not available. The main objective of the course was for the trainees to learn basic types of treatment for the most frequent types of injuries.

Cambodia / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (January 17th - January 29th, 2017)

The third mission of the MEDEVAC Programme to Cambodia took place in Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh. The team of the Motol University Hospital under the direction of prof. MUDr. Tomáš Tláskal, CSc. performed surgeries on a total of 13 Cambodian children with congenital heart defects whose ages ranged from 5 months to 6 years. Throughout the mission, the Czech team was assisted by local medical staff who were also being intensively trained during the mission.

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (February 24th - March 5th, 2017)

The team of the Motol University Hospital started their mission in Amman by diagnosing and pre-selecting child patients for congenital heart defect surgeries. As part of the pre-selection, 20 children were examined and 12 of them underwent surgery in the following days. The children on whom surgery was performed suffered from atrium and ventricle defects and, in some cases, from Tetralogy of Fallot, all of which were successfully operated by the experienced team.

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (March 20th - March 28th, 2017)

At the end of March, a team of physicians from the Hradec Králové University Hospital and the Hradec Králové Charles University Faculty of Medicine was sent to the Al Khalidi Hospital in Amman, Jordan. During the mission, 197 surgeries were performed, predominantly cataract surgeries, on Syrian refugees with the assistance from the local ophthalmology department. The visit by Czech physicians attracted attention of the local media and a news story was filmed directly in the operating theatre by the Jordan Television. An article about the project was also published in The Jordanian Times.

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Locomotor Apparatus Traumatology (March 22nd - March 31st, 2017)

In late March, a multidisciplinary team from the Olomouc University Hospital was sent to Amman, Jordan by the MEDEVAC Programme. The team consisted of experts in physiotherapy, traumatology and post-surgical rehabilitation. 57 patients were included in the pre-selection, from among whom 19 were selected for surgery. However, surgeries were only performed on 17 of them as one patient fell ill and another one did not arrive to the hospital. All patients who had been operated on were subsequently provided with rehabilitation treatment, which was also provided to patients from previous missions and on an outpatient basis.

Senegal / Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Reconnaissance Mission (March 27th - March 31st, 2017)

This reconnaissance mission of three medical teams who had been chosen following a recommendation from the embassy in Dakar took place in the regional hospital in the city of Thies, which is also a recipient of assistance provided by the Czech embassy as part of local projects.  After consultations with the hospital management and a tour around respective worksites, it was agreed that teams specialising in otorhinolaryngology and gynaecology would be sent in the future.

Morocco / Bulovka Hospital - Reconnaissance Mission (March 28th - March 30th, 2017)

The purpose of the reconnaissance mission in Morocco was to find out about the local situation regarding preparations for the pilot surgical mission of Czech child orthopaedics department, which was to take place in autumn 2017. The Morocco university hospital called Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Hassan II was visited. After acquainting themselves with the respective cases in the orthopaedic facility of the hospital, the physicians decided to perform surgeries of neuro-orthopaedic nature, a condition referred to as a “clubfoot”, brachial plexus birth palsy and arthrogryposis. The selection was narrowed down to 15 Moroccan children who were being considered for the actual surgical procedures.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq / Military University Hospital, General University Hospital - Reconnaissance Mission (March 30th - April 2nd, 2017)

The reconnaissance trip of physicians from the Military University Hospital and the Prague General University Hospital to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, specifically to its capital city of Erbil, concentrated particularly on identifying needs in the field of infectology and traumatology in the given location. During this mission, tours around local hospitals took place and there were meetings held with their management as well as meetings with senior officials of the local Ministry of Health, the employees of the consulate of the Czech Republic, WHO officials and the officials of other non-governmental organisations. Due to ongoing military operations to liberate Mosul, which is near the city, injured patients were transferred to local hospitals for stabilisation. The physicians found out that going forward, it is particularly necessary to concentrate on educating local staff on prevention and treatment of infectious complications of war injuries, on treatment of bone and joint infections as well as on correct implementation of antibiotic prophylaxis.

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Ophthalmology (April 3rd - April 11th, 2017)

The Military University Hospital sent a team of two eye surgeons and one scrub nurse to Jordan on their first ophthalmological mission under the MEDEVAC Programme. During the mission, the team focused on cataract surgeries performed on Syrian refugees and indigent Jordanians. Over a period of 6 operating days, 116 cataract surgeries were successfully performed in total.

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Reconnaissance Mission (April 9th - April 11th, 2017)

As part of a reconnaissance trip to Ukraine, the Czech team consisting of specialists in physiotherapy visited the Kiev Regional Hospital. There, the team viewed the recently built rehabilitation centre, the outpatient rehabilitation department, the intensive care unit and the orthopaedics department. During the visit, meetings were also held with the management and employees of the hospital as well as with the representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health on the topic of training Ukrainian physiotherapists, ergotherapists and rehabilitation physicians in the Czech Republic. It was obvious that there was great motivation on the Ukrainian side to establish a working system of physiotherapy.

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics and Ophthalmology (April 19th - April 28th, 2017)

The Bulovka Hospital provided the MEDEVAC Programme for a mission to Amman, Jordan, with two teams specialising in orthopaedics and ophthalmology. As part of the orthopaedic mission, 45 patients with posttraumatic and congenital degenerative defects of the locomotor apparatus were examined on an outpatient basis. 21 patients were selected for surgeries but 2 of them could not be operated on due to their unsuitable states of health. The orthopaedic team performed 23 surgeries on 19 patients (17 Syrians living in refugee camps, 2 Jordanians from poor areas without medical insurance).

The ophthalmological team of physicians pre-selected a total of 65 patients for surgery, on whom 67 cataract surgeries and 1 re-surgery were performed. In spite of the fact that the surgeries involved advanced and complicated cases of cataract, the medical team from the Bulovka Hospital handled all surgical procedures without complications.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq / General University of Hospital - Locomotor Apparatus Traumatology (April 20th - April 27th, 2017)

Under the MEDEVAC Programme, the General University Hospital in Prague sent a team consisting of four traumatology specialists to a mission in Kurdish Erbil. Over five operating days, a total of 10 osteosynthesis surgeries were performed on 7 patients. During the following days, the physicians were checking the patients who had underwent surgery and were changing their dressings and were determining their follow-up therapies after their release. Throughout the mission, there were also numerous consultations held with local physicians about the future course of action and treatment.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq / Military University Hospital - Infectology (May 16th - May 22nd, 2017)

Based on previous reconnaissance trip at the turn of March and April 2017, the head physician of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases of the Military University Hospital returned to Erbil where he continued to educate the local medical staff on correct administration of antibiotics and implementation of antibiotic prophylaxis. Since fighting in Mosul was subsiding, he also focused on civil patients operated on in three hospitals, with which collaboration had been established. He participated in regular rounds; he gave advice on administration of antibiotics and he also gave expert lectures on this topic in the respective hospitals.

Morocco / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery, Training in the Czech Republic (April 22nd - May 6th, 2017)

Medical staff from the intensive care unit in a partner hospital in Fes, Morocco, were invited to a two-week training at the Children’s Cardiac Centre of the Motol University Hospital. During this course, the participants acquainted themselves with the operation of this facility, which is unique in the Czech Republic and which focuses on congenital heart defects in children. They were also introduced to the system of cardiac care of children in the Czech Republic, thanks to which children with congenital heart defects are monitored as early as in the prenatal period and are provided with professional medical care in a timely manner.

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic Surgery (May 3rd - May 12th, 2017)

The mission of plastic surgery carried out by Bulovka Hospital built on the orthopaedic and ophthalmological mission of this hospital, which took place in April. Over a period of 9 days, the team of physicians examined 31 patients and selected 20 of them for surgeries, which were carried out in the following days. All surgical procedures took place without complications.

Senegal / Bulovka Hospital - Gynaecology (May 30th - June 9th, 2017)

A pilot mission was carried out by the gynaecological team based on the findings from previous reconnaissance mission carried out in March 2017. During the mission, two non-functioning devices (colposcopes) were put into operation, which had not been used in the hospital for a long time. Thanks to these devices, the Czech team was able to start examining female patients and subsequently perform surgeries on them (electroconization of the cervix), which had not been done in the hospital up until then. A total of 23 female patients were examined and 13 of them underwent surgery.

Iraq / General University Hospital - Training - Traumatology (September 3rd - September 29th, 2017)

In cooperation with the General University Hospital in Prague, the 1st Surgical Clinic of Thoracic, Abdominal and Trauma Surgery and the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University, another training of Kurdish physicians in the discipline of traumatology took place. Three surgeons who had already completed the basic course in the Czech Republic in 2016 attended the training. The training programme included lectures and practical demonstrations during surgeries, simulations on the models in the Physiological Institute of the 1st Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University and a practical workshop in the training centre of the MEDIN company in Nové Město na Moravě.

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training of Physiotherapists (September 4th - September 8th, 2017)

As part of development aid in Ukraine, the MEDEVAC Programme is focusing on helping patients after locomotor apparatus surgeries. Up until now, rehabilitation in Ukraine was provided predominantly in the private sector and, as a result, was largely unavailable to the more vulnerable part of population, which the newly established Rehabilitation Department of the Kiev Regional Hospital is trying to change. In September, an intensive four-day training of physiotherapists was carried out in this hospital under the guidance of specialists from the General University Hospital and Bulovka Hospital. The training was divided into three main blocks (ergotherapy, physiotherapy for neurological patients and physiotherapy for traumatological patients) and was carried out in the form of practical exercises as well as theoretical presentations.

Morocco / Motol University Hospital - Children’s Cardiac Surgery Department, Training in the Czech Republic (September 4th - September 16th, 2017)

Thanks to collaboration with the Children’s Heart Centre of the Motol University Hospital, the second training of medical staff from the hospital in Fes, Morocco, took place in September, this time with a focus on post-operative care at the ICU for cardiac surgeries of small children with congenital heart defects. Three female nurses and one male nurse attended the training.  This has been the second year of operation of the MEDEVAC Programme in Morocco and the Programme aims to improve particularly the post-operative for children after a cardiac surgical procedure, which is of fundamental importance for successful healing of the child.

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Ophthalmology (September 11th - September 19th, 2017)

The focus of the second ophthalmological mission of the Military University Hospital in Prague to Amman, Jordan was once again on cataract surgeries performed on Syrian refugees and socially disadvantaged Jordanian citizens. A total of 114 cataract surgeries were carried out.

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic Surgery (September 20th - September 29th, 2017)

The medical team of the Bulovka Hospital composed of MUDr. Molitor, a surgeon, and a nurse concentrated on correction of posttraumatic scars and on surgeries of congenital limb development defects. On 21 September 2017, 67 Syrian patients, predominantly from the Zaatari refugee camp, and a smaller number of Jordanians from the north of Jordan arrived to the Palestine Hospital. 23 of them passed the pre-selection and were operated on in the following days.

Jordan / Královské Vinohrady University Hospital - Plastic Surgery Reconnaissance (September 25th - September 28th, 2017)

As of now, all plastic surgery of the MEDEVAC Programme is carried out in Jordan through the Bulovka Hospital. In order to expand the Czech plastic surgery missions by including the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital, Andrej Sukop, an associate professor, was sent for a reconnaissance mission to the capital city of Amman. During his stay, he visited three hospitals. In conclusion of the reconnaissance mission, it was decided to include the Plastic Surgery Department of the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital among the diverse range of activities of the MEDEVAC Programme in Jordan by synchronising the visits from the team of Bulovka Hospital and from the team of the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital.

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology (September 26th - October 7th, 2017)

For the fourth time, traumatologists from the Olomouc University Hospital and trauma surgery experts arrived in Jordan. The team focused not only on acute injuries but also on older, inadequately surgically treated or healed injuries. During the pre-selection, a total of 65 patients were examined; 17 of them were selected for surgery. Over a period of seven operating days, 14 patients were eventually operated on; two patients failed to arrive and one patient fell ill. Six other patients were treated with a special medicine administered by means of joint injections as an alternative to joint replacement.

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (October 16th - October 25th, 2017)

The same team of ophthalmologists from the Hradec Králové University Hospital was sent to Jordan for their fifth mission. The physicians once again focused on cataract surgeries, which are a highly efficient and effective help without long-term follow-up care. For the third time in a row, they carried out the surgeries in the Al Khalidi Hospital where a completely new modern ophthalmological centre was created for these purposes and which provides excellent conditions for this type of surgeries. Over a period of seven operating days, the physicians operated on a record number of 208 patients.

Senegal / Motol University Hospital - Otorhinolaryngology (October 18th - October 29th, 2017)

Based on the reconnaissance carried out in March, the first trip of the medical team from the Motol University Hospital to Senegal took place. The focus of the mission was on helping ENT patients (both children and adults). On the first day, 15 patients with a rhinological condition and 12 patients for whom ear surgeries were planned were examined. Patients with throat conditions were being selected during the mission. A total of 35 patients were operated on in three different operating theatres.

Morocco / Motol University Hospital - Children’s Cardiac Surgery Department (October 22nd - November 1st, 2017)

Under the direction of professor Tláskal, a team from the Motol University Hospital specialising in surgeries of children with congenital heart defects arrived in Morocco. In the university hospital centre called Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Hassan II in Fes, a total of 10 Moroccan children with congenital heart defects, aged from 5 months to 9 years and coming from socially disadvantaged families, were operated on during the mission.

Lebanon / General University Hospital, Královské Vinohrady University Hospital - Reconnaissance (October 23rd - October 26th, 2017)

The teams of two large Prague-based hospitals sent their medical specialists in the disciplines of ophthalmology (General University Hospital) and plastic and reconstructive surgery (Královské Vinohrady University Hospital) on a reconnaissance mission to Beirut, Lebanon. The aim of the mission was to identify needs in this region and establish future cooperation with local hospitals. Three hospitals were visited: Rafik Hariri University Hospital, a public facility; Hayek Clinic Hospital, a private facility; and the private hospital of the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Several meetings were held with the managements of the hospitals and with members of the local medical staff. After thorough consideration, the teams decided to establish cooperation under the MEDEVAC Programme with the public Rafik Hariri Hospital, which is already focusing on the poorer segment of the population but the presence of Czech physicians would significantly enhance the standard and quality of the surgeries carried out in this facility.

Nepal / Prague General University Hospital - Training (November 3rd - November 20th, 2017)

The second training in Nepal in 2017 built on previous successful mission, which was carried out earlier at the beginning of the year. Once again, the Programme focused on provision of basic treatment for serious injuries and during natural disasters. There was training of the medical staff in the Dhagpo Sheydrub Ling Monastery, which built on the previous training; and new training was also carried out in the women’s Hasanta monastery, which was attended by 15 female monks.

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - Children’s Cardiac Surgery Department (November 7th - November 16th, 2017)

In November, the paediatric heart surgery team from the Motol University Hospital arrived in the Al-Khalidi Hospital based in Amman. During the first days, the team worked on selection of patients suitable for surgery and subsequently operated on the selected individuals. The surgical procedures were primarily procedures for correcting Tetralogy of Fallot and for closing up ventricular septal defects. A total of 20 children were examined; 13 of them were operated on.

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training - Physiotherapy, Ergotherapy (November 12th - November 15th, 2017)

In November, the head nurse and the Economic Deputy Director of the Kiev Regional Hospital were invited to the Czech Republic. During their educational stay, they were learning about the administration and organisation of work at the Bulovka Hospital with the aim of establishing an administrative system for physiotherapy in Ukraine based on a level of cooperation among physicians, physiotherapists and nurses.

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics (November 15th - November 25th, 2017)

In the second half of November, the orthopaedic team from the Military University Hospital also arrived in Jordan where they performed predominantly surgeries concerning meniscus lesions and anterior cruciate ligament as well as hip joint arthrosis. 60 patients were subjected to the pre-selection examinations, from among whom 26 individuals were chosen for surgery. Due to unsatisfactory states of health of some of the patients, only 19 of them came for the actual surgery, on whom a total of 21 surgeries were performed. The most challenging surgical procedure was hip joint dysplasia in a young woman, which took place without any complications in spite of the complexity of the surgery.

Ethiopia / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (November 21st - November 25th, 2017)

On 21/11, a special team composed of the ophthalmologist prof. Jirásková from the Hradec Králové University Hospital, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and a Czech expert on Ethiopia was sent to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The goal of this reconnaissance mission was to find out in what shape and form it is possible to implement the MEDEVAC Programme in the Ethiopian situation. As part of the visit, several public hospitals and one private clinic were visited. A meeting was held with representatives of the international organisations WHO and Light for the World. The future implementation of the Programme in Ethiopia will be started after a memorandum is signed with the Ethiopian government.

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics (November 29th - December 8th, 2017)

For the sixth time, the team of orthopaedists from the Bulovka Hospital led by MUDr. Michal Burian was sent to Jordan. Once again, the orthopaedic team focused on joint replacement surgeries, particularly on knee and hip replacement surgeries. During the first days, pre-selection of patients took place, which involved examining a total of 45 patients; 20 of them were chosen for subsequent surgery. 14 individuals underwent the surgery and a total of 30 surgical procedures were carried out on them. Another 30 patients suffering from osteoarthritis were given a total of 74 injections into their knee joints. All surgical procedures were carried out without any complications and the team thus successfully completed the last mission under the MEDEVAC Programme in the year 2017.


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

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