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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. 

  • Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC
  • History of the MEDEVAC Programme
  • Balance of MEDEVAC Programme / Statistics
  • MEDEVAC in 2014
  • MEDEVAC in 2015
  • MEDEVAC in 2016
  • MEDEVAC in 2017
  • MEDEVAC in 2018
  • MEDEVAC in 2019
  • MEDEVAC in 2020
  • MEDEVAC in 2021

Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC

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 Česky

Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC

MEDEVAC Czech is implemented through:

  1. Evacuating of patients for medical treatment to the Czech Republic  (since 1993)

  2. Deploying of Czech medical teams abroad (since 2013)

  3. Expert trainings for foreign medical staff  (since 2015)

  4. Supporting medical projects aimed at rebuilding health infrastructure (since 2016)
     

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The programme is operating since 1993 and is coordinated by the Czech Ministry of the Interior, in close cooperation with other relevant ministries, namely the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence and the Czech army. As of 2016, the Ministry of Trade and Industry also partakes in the programme.

The participating hospitals are: Bulovka University Hospital, Brno University Hospital, General University Hospital in Prague, Hradec Králové University Hospital, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Military University Hospital, Motol University Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital and University Hospital Vinohrady.

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MEDEVAC Czech in numbers

  • 3774 patients operated
  • 400 persons trained - doctors and medical staff
  • 287 medical humanitarian evacuation
  • 105 medical teams deployed abroad
  • 24 countries
  • 19 medical projects supported
  • 9 participating Czech hospitals
     

Annual reports:

  • 2021 (pdf, 8,3 MB)
  • 2020 (pdf, 62,3 MB)
  • 2019 (pdf, 13,9 MB)
  • 2018 (pdf, 5,9 MB)
     

Contact details:

WWW: http://medevacczech.com/

FB: medevac.czech

IG: medevac_czech

  

History of the MEDEVAC Programme

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History of the MEDEVAC Programme

The inception of the MEDEVAC Programme (from English:  "MEDical EVACuation") dates back to the beginning of the 1990s where there was a war conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the end of 1993, the UK military air force evacuated a seriously injured girl, Irma Hadžimuratović, from the besieged Sarajevo together with four other children to London. It was beyond the power of the doctors in Sarajevo to help her under the local conditions. Despite every effort of doctors in London, Irma died.  Still, her sad story aroused activity of the international community to help those for whom medical care in the place of conflict or another disaster is not sufficient. The deed of the British was a kind of a symbol for entire Europe that the Czech Republic decided to pursue.

A four-year-old girl, Alesandra Vujica, was one of the first little patients coming for treatment to the Czech Republic. She was hurt by a grenade in Busovača, Bosnia. Local doctors worked hard to help her survive. However, her injuries required specialised care which could be provided at Motol Hospital in Prague. This was the first time when the Czech Republic implemented the MEDEVAC Programme.

Alesandra was followed by other seriously injured children and several adults from Bosnia. After the war in the former Yugoslavia ended, the Czech Republic's aid seemed to have been only a temporary activity. But the war in Kosovo that started in 1998 proved this was just an illusion. The MEDEVAC Programme again focused on the treatment of children with severe injuries, mostly of the war origin. When the war ended, efforts to reconstruct the local health care system showed that there had been a serious problem of neglected heart defects in children. Thirty children were gradually airlifted to the Czech Republic where they underwent heart surgeries which gave them hope to normal life.

Similarly, children with serious heart defects were treated within the MEDEVAC Programme after the outbreak of the war in Iraq. These children got into care of doctors of the Seventh Field Hospital of the Army of the Czech Republic in Basra and they were in such a serious health condition that they could not be treated in the field conditions. The MEDEVAC Programme has been closely connected with the Army of the Czech Republic and the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital since 2003.

In the following years, the MEDEVAC Programme was also activated to include the victims of the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in 2006. The Programme was also implemented in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2010.

In connection with the rising number of armed conflicts in the world (Libya, Syria, Ukraine), the MEDEVAC Programme returned its focus on war injuries of adult patients in 2011. In the years 2012-2013, a total of fourteen Syrian patients (8 adults and 6 children) were transported to Motol University Hospital for treatment in the Czech Republic.

In the autumn of 2013, the government of the Czech Republic approved continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for the nationals of the Syrian Arab Republic. A team of doctors from the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital worked in the capital of Jordan, Amman, where they performed six surgeries of congenital heart disease in children.   Two more patients were selected to undergo a surgery in the Czech Republic.

Until 2013, the MEDEVAC Programme primarily involved medical evacuations to the Czech Republic for treatment. A total of 171 foreign patients, predominantly children, were treated within the MEDEVAC Programme between 1993 and 2013.

Activities in the years 1993-2013 included the treatment and surgeries of foreign patients airlifted to the Czech Republic as part of the MEDEVAC Programme at Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital in Prague, Bulovka Hospital and Královské Vinohrady University Hospital.

Photo gallery MEDEVAC - Archive Photo gallery

MEDEVAC 1993-2013
medical humanitarian airlifts for treatment in the Czech Republic
Country of origin Number of patients
Bosnia and Herzegovina 17
Kosovo 40
Chechnya 1
Iraq 42
Pakistan 10
Afghanistan 14
Cambodia 10
Libya 20
Burma 3
Syria 14
Total 171

Balance of MEDEVAC Programme / Statistics

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Balance of MEDEVAC Programme / Statistics

Medical humanitarian airlifts to the Czech Republic

Year Patient's country of origin Number of patients
1993-1994 Bosnia and Herzegovina (war injuries and other diseases) 17
1998 Kosovo (heart disease, nephrology) 40
2003-2005 Iraq (burns, heart disease) 42
2005 Chechnya (neurology) 1
2006 Pakistan (fractures, clefts, heart disease, hypospadias) 10
2008-2010 Afghanistan (heart disease, burns, orthopaedics) 14
2009-2011 Cambodia (heart disease) 10
2011-2012 Libya (heart disease, war injuries) 20
2012 Burma (heart disease) 3
2012-2013 Syria (heart disease, war injuries) 14
2014 Ukraine (war injuries) 39
2015 Ukraine (war injuries) 10
2016 Kenya (heart disease) 3
2016 Ukraine (orthopaedics, neurosurgery)  2
2017 Ukraine (orthopaedics) 1
2018 Afghanistan (paediatric heart surgery) 1
2020 Belarus (35 patients, 25 family members provided with health and psychological care) 60
2021 Belarus (13 paramedics and 16 family members) 29
Total 316

  

Medical Missions of Czech Doctors Abroad

Year Hospital Specialty Country Number of patients
2013 Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Jordan 6
Total for 2013 6
2014 Bulovka Hospital orthopaedics Jordan 15
Bulovka Hospital plastic and reconstructive surgery Jordan 11
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Jordan 10
Total for 2014 36
2015 Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Jordan 19
Bulovka Hospital orthopaedics (2 missions) Jordan 24
Bulovka Hospital plastic and reconstructive surgery (2 missions) Jordan 29
General University Hospital traumatology Jordan 14
Hradec Králové University Hospital ophthalmology Jordan 100
Olomouc University Hospital traumatology, rehabilitation Jordan 30
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Cambodia 13
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Kenya 15
Total for 2015 244
2016 Bulovka Hospital orthopaedics (2 missions) Jordan 40
Bulovka Hospital plastic and surgical reconstructions (2 missions) Jordan 48
Bulovka Hospital ophthalmology Jordan 62
General University Hospital traumatology Jordan 21
Hradec Králové University Hospital ophthalmology (2 missions) Jordan 310
Olomouc University Hospital traumatology Jordan 10
Central Military Hospita orthopaedics Jordan 15
Central Military Hospital ENT Jordan 68
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Cambodia 13
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Morocco 13
Motol University Hospital paediatric heart surgery Kenya 13
Total for 2016 613
2017 Bulovka Hospital Orthopaedics (2 missions) Jordan 33/53
Bulovka Hospital Plastic and reconstructive surgery (2 missions) Jordan 43
Bulovka Hospital Ophthalmology Jordan 68
Bulovka Hospital Gynaecology Senegal 13
General University Hospital Traumatology Iraq 10
Olomouc University Hospital Traumatology (2 missions) Jordan 31
Military University Hospital Orthopaedics Jordan 19/21
Military University Hospital Ophthalmology (2 missions) Jordan 230
Motol University Hospital Paediatric heart surgery Cambodia 13
Motol University Hospital Paediatric heart surgery Morocco 10
Motol University Hospital Paediatric heart surgery (2 missions) Jordan 25
Motol University Hospital ENT Senegal 35
Hradec Králové University Hospital Ophthalmology (2 missions) Jordan 405
Total for 2017 935/957
2018 General University Hospital Traumatology Jordan 17
Military University Hospital Ophthalmology Jordan 126
Military University Hospital Orthopaedics (2 missions) Jordan 40
Bulovka Hospital Orthopaedics Jordan 27
Bulovka Hospital Ophthalmology Jordan 62
Bulovka Hospital Plastic surgery Jordan 21
Bulovka Hospital Gynaecology Senegal 13
Hradec Králové University Hospital Ophthalmology (2 missions) Jordan 469
Olomouc University Hospital Orthopaedics / traumatology Jordan 17
Motol University Hospital Paediatric heart surgery Jordan 14
Motol University Hospital ENT Senegal 55
Královské Vinohrady University Hospital Plastic surgery Jordan 21
Total for 2018 886
2020 Hradec Králové University Hospital Ophthalmology Jordan 218 / 218
Bulovka Hospital Orthopedics Jordan 21 / 24
Olomouc University Hospital
Brno University Hospital
Královské Vinohrady University Hospital
Traumatology Senegal 18 / 23
Total for 2020 257 / 265
2021 Bulovka Hospital Gynecology Ghana 50
Brno University Hospital Gynecology Ghana 42
Olomouc University Hospital
Brno University Hospital
Královské Vinohrady University Hospital
Traumatology Ghana 30 / 35
General University Hospital in Prague Traumatology Jordan 28
Královské Vinohrady University Hospital Plastic and surgical reconstructions Jordan 19 / 27
Motol University Hospital Pediatric heart surgery Jordan 14
General University Hospital in Prague Ophthalmology Lebanon 97
General University Hospital in Prague Ophthalmology Lebanon 60
Olomouc University Hospital
Brno University Hospital
Královské Vinohrady University Hospital
Traumatology Senegal 25 / 25
Bulovka Hospital Gynecology Senegal 35
General University Hospital in Prague Traumatology Senegal 19
Motol University Hospital ENT Senegal 67
Total for 2021 486 / 499
TOTAL 4203 / 4378

  

Training of doctors and medical staff organised in the Czech Republic or abroad

Year Country of origin of training participants Place of training Number of participants
2015 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Erbil General University Hospital / Prague 8
2015 Ukraine University Hospital in Ostrava 1
2016 Kenya Motol University Hospital 2
2016 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Duhok General University Hospital / Prague 12
2016 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Duhok Emergency Teaching Hospital (IRK / Duhok) 26
2016 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Duhok Hradec Králové University Hospital 4
2017 The Kurdistan Region of Iraq / Duhok General University Hospital / Prague 3
2017 Morocco Motol University Hospital / Prague 8
2017 Nepal General University Hospital / Nepal 21
2017 Senegal Bulovka Hospital, Motol University Hospital / Thies 8
2017 Ukraine General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital / Kiev 15
2018 Ukraine General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital / Prague 10
2018 Ukraine General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital, Hradec Králové University Hospital / Kiev 41
2020 Ukraine IKEM / online 40
2020 Morocco IKEM / online 7
2020 Ghana IKEM / online 8
2020 Mauritania IKEM / Bulovka Hospital 6
2020 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan IKEM / online 13
2021 Peru Bulovka Hospital, IKEM / online 91
2021 Ukraine General University Hospital in Prague / online 19
2021 Georgia General University Hospital in Prague, Bulovka Hospital / Georgia 17
2021 Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan IKEM / Iraq 239
2021 Ghana Bulovka Hospital, Brno University Hospital / Prague, Brno 1
2021 Senegal Brno University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital / Brno, Prague 1
2021 Ukraine General University Hospital in Prague / Praha 5
2021 Ukraine Bulovka Hospital / Prague 4
Total 806

  

Financial donations

Country Year Organisation Purpose of financial donation Amount of financial donation / budgetary measure
Iraq 2017 Caritas Int. Distribution of sanitation materials to two medical centres and distribution of sanitation packages for internally displaced persons in Mosul. 4 million CZK
Iraq 2017 CARE Int. Support of reconstruction of a medical centre in eastern Mosul through purchase of basic medicines and medical equipment; training of local medical staff. 5 million CZK
Iraq 2018 Caritas Int. Purchase of a 3D printer for printing components for damaged medical devices in the region of Ninewa / Mosul. 5 million CZK
Ukraine 2018 ADRA Int. Sanitation of selected hospitals and ensuring basic hygiene standards in selected hospitals with to improve the quality of health care. 5 million CZK
Libya 2018 ICRC Material support for selected hospitals. 5 million CZK
Niger 2018 CARE Int. Construction of two medical facilities; training of 54 medical professionals in the field of reproductive health. 5 million CZK
Mali 2020 ICRC Project to support the system of providing orthopedic and rehabilitation services in Mali 5 million CZK
Libanon 2020 ICRC Project to support the provision of reconstruction surgery for refugees and other vulnerable people in Lebanon 5 million CZK
Libanon 2020 Ministry of Defense by General University Hospital in Prague Material donation to help after the explosion in the Beirut point 2 million CZK
Greece 2020 Fire Brigade of the Czech Republic Material donation to help refugees in the fight against COVID-19 4.5 million CZK
Ukraine 2020 ADRA Int. Improving health care and preventing the spread of COVID-19  5 million CZK
Burkina Faso 2021 Light for the World Focused on the provision of ophthalmological care 5 million CZK
Georgia 2021 Caritas International Focused on improvement of the quality of oncology care for women in western Georgia 5 million CZK
Iraqi Kurdistan 2021 CARE International Aimed at improving access to reproductive, natal and postnatal healthcare in post-war western Mosul 5 million CZK
Kenya 2021 Lutheran World Federation Aimed at improvement of provision of quality care and rehabilitation for refugees and inhabitants of the Dadaab  5 million CZK
Mauritania 2021 Lutheran World Federation Aimed to equip two healthcare centers for surgical and postnatal care in Mbour 5 million CZK
Mali 2021 CARE International Focused on improvement of 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 5 million CZK
Nigeria 2021 ICRC Support for the provision of rehabilitation and orthopedic services 5 million CZK
Afghanistan 2021 ICRC Supports a primary healthcare programme 5 million CZK
Financial donations total 123,4 million CZK

  

MEDEVAC in 2014

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MEDEVAC in 2014

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2014

The year 2014 was strongly influenced by the political events in Ukraine and the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. That is why the MEDEVAC Programme focused on these events in 2014.

With regard to the situation in Ukraine, the Government of the Czech Republic issued a decision in the first half of 2014 to continue the MEDEVAC Programme focused on the injured Ukrainian nationals. In this respect, the government adopted two resolutions: 1) Resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic of 26 February 2014 No. 128, regarding the continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for the nationals of Ukraine, and 2) Resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic of 5 March 2014 No. 146, regarding the expansion of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for the nationals of Ukraine and amending the Government Resolution of 26 February 2014 No. 128, regarding the continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for the nationals of Ukraine. As part of the actual implementation of the MEDEVAC/Ukraine Programme (Resolution No. 128 and Resolution No. 146), the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Health conducted two medical humanitarian airlifts of injured nationals of Ukraine.  They were civilians of many professions (a poet, a lawyer, a sound engineer, a taxi driver) who had become victims of violent clashes with the police forces. A total of 39 patients and two statutory representatives of minor patients were transported to the Czech Republic within the MEDEVAC/Ukraine Programme. One patient succumbed to the consequences of his injuries in the territory of the Czech Republic. The last patient of the MEDEVAC/Ukraine Programme left the Czech Republic in February 2015. The treatment lasted between two and six months on average.

In the context of the crisis events that started to strongly manifest themselves in the eastern part of Ukraine and with regard to the development of armed conflicts in the world, the government of the Czech Republic adopted Resolution No. 495 on 25 June 2014 on the continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for the nationals of Ukraine from the eastern part of Ukraine affected by the armed conflicts and on the continuation of the MEDEVAC Programme until the end of 2014. Due to the escalation of armed conflicts in the eastern part of Ukraine in the second half of 2014 and the related factors, Resolution No. 495 could not be implemented with respect to the medical evacuation of the nationals of Ukraine from the eastern part of Ukraine affected by armed conflicts. 

Under a joint agreement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior, the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) continued to be implemented for Syrian refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In this respect, the government of the Czech Republic adopted Resolution of 27 October 2014 No. 870 on the continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) for Syrian refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Resolution No. 870 was implemented through a short-term deployment of three Czech specialised medical teams in Jordan. They included specialised teams from Motol University Hospital (heart surgery, orthopaedics) and Bulovka Hospital (plastic and reconstructive surgery).

Between 11 and 19 November 2014, four specialists in paediatric heart surgery from Motol University Hospital performed ten surgeries in Syrian and Jordanian children with congenital heart disease at the Al Khalidi Medical Center. During the second stage, two more teams of Czech doctors (two orthopaedists, an anaesthesiologist and a plastic surgeon) at Al-Makassed Hospital helped 26 Syrian patients who had suffered serious injuries during the conflict in their country. Doctors from Motol University Hospital and Bulovka Hospital who were members of these teams conducted fifteen orthopaedic and eleven plastic surgeries between 29 November and 4 December 2014.

Photo gallery MEDEVAC - 2014 Photo gallery

MEDEVAC in 2015

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MEDEVAC in 2015

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2015

Under Government Resolution No. 45 dated 19 January 2015 on the continuation of the programme of humanitarian evacuations of inhabitants with health issues (MEDEVAC) in 2015, the Ministry of the Interior, in cooperation with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Defence, was implementing the MEDEVAC Programme over the whole year 2015.

In 2015, the MEDEVAC Programme was introduced in its new general format that clearly defined areas of interest and activities of medical humanitarian missions for the whole year. This made it possible to improve planning and enable complex presence especially in the areas affected by war conflicts and/or a humanitarian disaster, e.g. in the Middle East and Ukraine.

In 2015, the MEDEVAC Programme was implemented through the following activities:

  1. deployment of Czech teams of doctors abroad
  2. medical humanitarian evacuations to the Czech Republic for treatment
  3. internships of medical staff from areas affected by a humanitarian crisis at Czech hospitals under the direct authority of the Ministry of Health
  4. financing of a complicated acute heart surgery in Jordan upon request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (the "UNHCR")
     

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2015

  • deployment of 12 medical teams abroad
  • 244 specialised surgical interventions carried out abroad
  • more than 500 specialised examinations with diagnostics
  • 33 non-invasive interventions abroad
  • organisation and performance of one complicated heart surgery abroad upon urgent request of the UNHCR
  • 3 reconnaissance trips abroad in order to prepare future MEDEVAC Programme missions in the given country
  • two medical humanitarian evacuations to the Czech Republic for treatment (10 patients + 3 statutory representatives)
  • two internships of medical staff from areas affected by a humanitarian crisis at Czech hospitals under the direct authority of the Ministry of Health (9 people)
     

In 2015 a total of 20 projects in the total amount of CZK 31,863,943.35 were performed as part of the MEDEVAC Programme.

In 2015, the Programme was activated in five countries, specifically in Jordan, Cambodia, Kenya, Republic of Iraq – the Iraqi Region of Kurdistan, and in Ukraine.

Annual Report 2015 (pdf, 2.47 MB)
 

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (February 9th - February 19th, 2015)

A four-member team of doctors of the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital was deployed on its third mission within the MEDEVAC Programme (the first mission took place in 2013; the second was in 2014). In Jordan, the medical team focuses on surgeries in Syrian refugee children with congenital heart disease. At the Al Khalidi Medical Center in Jordan, the team operated ten Syrian children with congenital heart disease aged from three months to six years. All children survived and no serious complications occurred. On Tuesday 10 February, the Al Khalidi Medical Center was visited by Czech President Miloš Zeman during his business trip to Jordan. The president highly appreciated the Czech doctors and the MEDEVAC Programme.
 

Jordan / General University Hospital in Prague - Reconnaissance Trip (April 19th - April 24th, 2015)

A doctor from General University Hospital in Prague took part in a reconnaissance mission to Amman, Jordan, to prepare the deployment of a trauma team from the hospital. Of the total of 75 examined patients, fifteen patients were selected for the trauma team from General University Hospital in Prague and 25 patients for the orthopaedic team from Bulovka Hospital.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (May 6th - May 15th, 2015)

A five-member team from Bulovka Hospital specialising in paediatric orthopaedics and reconstructive surgery focused on surgeries in Syrian children and adults with acquired and congenital disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The orthopaedic team examined 35 patients with post-traumatic, congenital and degenerative defects of the musculoskeletal system. Fifteen patients were selected for a surgery, of which thirteen patients were actually operated. The plastic surgery team consulted 38 patients, of whom thirteen patients were selected for a surgery. Twelve patients were actually operated (complex defects, scar contractures, etc.). One surgery was performed in cooperation with the orthopaedic team. The medical team from Bulovka Hospital checked the follow-up care of these patients after the surgeries. Upon their departure, all operated patients were without any evident complications.
 

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip (May 16th - May 19th, 2015)

A two-member medical team from Olomouc University Hospital took part in a reconnaissance mission to Amman, Jordan, between 16 and 19 May 2015 in order to prepare a medical mission of Olomouc University Hospital to be held in September 2015. The team visited two hospitals in Jordan - the Al Khalidi Medical Center and Al Maqased Charity Hospital - where the doctors met the respective hospital management, looked around the operating theatres and discussed possible surgical interventions. They also met the representatives of the Czech Republic's embassy in Jordan. The reconnaissance mission was accompanied by a Jordanian medical expert of the MEDEVAC Programme who helped the Czech doctors become familiarised with the Jordanian healthcare infrastructure and with their talks with Jordanian hospitals. It was agreed that the doctors from Olomouc University Hospital would focus their September mission on trauma injuries.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip (May 16th - May 20th, 2015)

Between 16 and 20 May 2015, members of the medical team from Hradec Králové University Hospital participated in a reconnaissance mission to Amman, Jordan, in order to prepare the Hradec Králové University Hospital mission to be held in October 2015.  Its aim was to find suitable forms of cooperation to provide humanitarian care in Jordanian hospitals. As part of this mission, the team visited two hospitals (Al Khalidi Medical Center and Al Maqased Charity Hospital) and an eye surgery centre where they met and negotiated with the management of these medical facilities. The Jordanian party especially welcomed the offer of cataract surgeries. The team also met the representatives of the Czech Republic's embassy in Jordan. The reconnaissance mission was accompanied by a Jordanian medical expert of the Czech MEDEVAC Programme. They agreed on cooperation related to cataract surgeries, including patient selection, a schedule of surgeries, post-operative care and on how to deal with potential complications.
 

Jordan / General University Hospital in Prague - Traumatology (May 27th - June 6th, 2015)

During its mission at Al Maqased Charity Hospital in Jordan between 27 May and 6 June, the trauma team of General University Hospital in Prague performed twelve planned and two acute surgeries. This team focused primarily on surgical reconstructions. The doctors also met the representatives of the Czech Republic's embassy in Jordan. A Jordanian medical expert of the Czech MEDEVAC Programme cooperated with the team of doctors all the time, helping them communicate with local patients and hospital staff.
 

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (June 1st - June 9th, 2015)

Between 1 and 9 June 2015, a two-member team of doctors from the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital was deployed on its fourth mission within the MEDEVAC Programme. At the Al Khalidi Medical Center, the team operated nine Syrian children with congenital heart disease aged from three months to nine years. In patient selection, pre-operative and post-operative care, the medical team used the excellent cooperation with the local paediatric cardiologist. All operated children survived and there were no post-operative complications. Both surgeries and the post-operative development went on smoothly.
 

Cambodia / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (June 14th - June 20th, 2015)

Between 14 and 20 June 2015, a two-member team from Motol University Hospital (a cardiologist and a heart surgeon) went on a reconnaissance mission to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh in Cambodia in order to prepare a medical mission of Motol University Hospital to be held in September 2015. This mission should focus on surgical treatment of congenital heart defects in children. Calmette Hospital doctors are strongly interested in cooperation in care for children with congenital heart disease. Members of the hospital management are interested in the work of Czech medical teams, internships at Czech hospitals and increased hospital capacity through donations of discarded devices and instruments from the Czech Republic.
 

Ukraine / Medical Humanitarian Airlift to the Czech Republic (July 14th, 2015)

A medical humanitarian airlift of Ukrainian nationals for medical treatment in the Czech Republic under the MEDEVAC Programme was implemented on 14 July 2015. The airlift was coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kiev. A total of nine patients and two persons accompanying minors were brought to the Czech Republic. The range of injuries included orthopaedic injuries, conditions requiring cardiac surgery and war injuries. The most serious injuries included burn injuries requiring intensive care. The patients were predominantly citizens of Ukraine who had been internally displaced from the eastern areas affected by hostilities who were staying in the area of Kharkov on a long-term basis at the time of the airlift.
 

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology (September 1st - September 17th, 2015)

The medical team of Olomouc University Hospital consisting of two doctors specialising in trauma surgery of limbs, one anaesthesiologist and one physiotherapist specialising in the rehabilitation of hand traumas and the musculoskeletal system were deployed at Al Maqased Charity Hospital between 1 and 17 September where they operated and rehabilitated vulnerable groups of inhabitants, i.e. both Syrian refugees in Jordan and socially weak Jordanian citizens who mostly cannot afford the necessary medical care. The team selected a total of 35 patients for surgeries, of whom 28 patients were operated. The operated traumas mostly included limb fractures, operations of explosion consequences or gunshot wounds. It was also the first team under the MEDEVAC Programme that invited an experienced physiotherapist to Jordan who could rehabilitate the operated patients as well as the patients who had been admitted to hospital. The entire team was received by the representatives of the Czech embassy in Jordan and - as always - was assisted by the Jordanian medical expert from the Czech MEDEVAC Programme.

Photo gallery: Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology Photo gallery
 

Cambodia / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (September 12th - September 27th, 2015)

The medical team from the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital comprising two heart surgeons, two cardiologists and two nurses was deployed between 12 and 27 September 2015 at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Pen, Cambodia. The team operated thirteen Cambodian children with congenital heart disease aged between one and sixteen years. During the patient selection, during surgeries and in post-opertive care, the team cooperated with the Cambodian specialists from Calmette Hospital and the charity organisation Chain of Hope.  All children were successfully operated and disconnected from breathing devices. Cambodia is not a country affected by a war conflict or any extensive natural disaster, but it still remains one of the least developed countries with a high need for assistance from international donors. Health care services are among the top priorities of the Cambodian government.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (October 12th - October 18th, 2015)

Under the MEDEVAC/Jordan Programme mission, a three-member medical team from Hradec Králové University Hospital focused on cataract surgeries. During its Jordanian mission, the team performed 100 surgical interventions (advanced, mature and very complicated cataract cases). During the mission, the team was received by the employees of the Czech embassy in Amman and got support from the Jordanian medical expert of the Czech MEDEVAC Programme and a liaison officer of the Ministry of the Interior for migration who was temporarily assigned to the Czech Republic's representative office in Amman.
 

Ukraine / Medical Humanitarian Airlift to the Czech Republic (October 1st, 2015)

A medical humanitarian airlift of a Ukrainian national (an internally displaced girl and her statutory representative) was conducted on 1 October 2015 in close cooperation with the Representative Office of the Czech Republic in Kiev. The patient was injured during an explosion in Uglegorsk where her house was hit by military equipment. The Representative Office in Kiev, in cooperation with Kiev Hospital, provided the patient's examination and prepared a current medical report. The report was given to Hradec Králové University Hospital that was assessed as the best alternative for the patient's care. After an expert consultation with the hospital's doctors, the hospital agreed to admit and treat the patient.
 

Jordan / Reimbursement of a Surgery in Amman (October 2015)

Upon the request of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the MEDEVAC Programme reimbursed a complicated acute heart surgery in a two-month Syrian refugee baby. The baby suffered from a severe heart defect with an anticipated survival of about one month. In cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Representative Office in Amman, Al Khalidi Hospital in Jordan and the Ministry of the Interior, an experienced Jordanian surgeon was arranged who successfully performed the indicated surgery after consultations with Motol University Hospital. The surgery was successful with no complicated post-operative conditions.
 

Ukraine / University Hospital in Ostrava - Training of a Ukrainian Doctor at University Hospital in Ostrava (September 29th - October 15th, 2015)

In cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Representative Office in Kiev, the Burn Centre of University Hospital in Ostrava prepared a training course for a Ukrainian surgeon, a burn specialist, under the MEDEVAC Programme. The training included education lectures, morning ward rounds at the ICU, extended rounds at the ICU, as well as checks of scarring development and scar treatment, internship at the Trauma Centre, Clinic of Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and Intensive Medicine, and also internship at the Centre for Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery.
 

Kenya / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (October 19th - October 31st, 2015)

The international medical team headed by physicians from Motol University Hospital was active at The Mater Hospital in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, between 19 and 31 October 2015. This hospital has been trying to mediate heart surgeries to the most vulnerable children on a long-term basis, and the MEDEVAC Programme seeks to provide its assistance as much as possible. A total of fifteen children with congenital heart defects were operated under the MEDEVAC Programme this year, aged between one year and 10 years, primarily patients with Tetralogy of Fallot. The long-term objective includes increasing the level of the local medical staff, which paves the way for possible internships of selected doctors and nurses at Motol University Hospital in Prague.
 

Iraq - the Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / General University Hospital in Prague - Training of Kurdish Medical Staff (November 2nd - November 29th, 2015)

As part of the training, four surgeons of various fields, one anaesthesiologist, and three members of the paramedical staff - two men and one woman, arrived to the Czech Republic. The training programme was prepared by physicians of the First Surgical Clinic of General University Hospital and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. The course was managed by the first deputy director for science, research and education of General University Hospital in Prague.  The appropriate institutional support was provided by the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs.

During the first week, all participants were informed about interventions in severe patients on digital models in the simulation centre of the Institute of Physiology of the First  Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, and during the following weeks, they worked as interns and took part in seminars and workshops at the First Surgical Clinic of General University Hospital and the First  Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and at the Second Surgical Clinic of General University Hospital and the First  Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. In cooperation with Královské Vinohrady University Hospital, the burn surgeon was in training at the hospital’s Burn Centre, and the orthopaedist attended selected surgeries at the Orthopaedic Clinic of Královské Vinohrady University Hospital and the Third Faculty of Medicine of Charles University.  They also took part in training at the Institute of Hand Surgery in Vysoké nad Jizerou. The course was finished with presentation of certificates at the First Surgical Clinic of General University Hospital and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University.

The course that was part of the MEDEVAC Programme implementation was positively received both by the participants and by the ministries involved. Following the experience from this pilot course, similar activities will be prepared in 2016.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (November 25th - December 4th, 2015)

At the turn of November 2015, another medical mission of a six-member team of Bulovka Hospital took place, focusing on surgeries in Syrian children and adult patients with acquired or congenital disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The plastic surgery team examined a total of 29 patients, 17 of which were operated. The range of interventions included complex defects, congenital disorders of limbs, and reconstructions of the grasp function or nerves of the hand. The orthopaedic team examined 45 patients with post-traumatic, congenital and degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system and performed eleven surgeries.  A total of 33 Intragel injections were applied in knee joints of seven patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee joint. The injection application was chosen as an alternative to the total knee replacement in patients who do not qualify for such an intervention due to their age and health condition. The surgeries were followed by check-ups and re-dressings of all patients. Upon departure, all operated patients were without any apparent complications, the most of them were released for home convalescence.

  

MEDEVAC in 2016

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MEDEVAC in 2016

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2016

With its Resolution No. 956 of 20 November 2015, the government of the Czech Republic approved establishment of the Permanent Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC. Under this resolution, a Working Group was formed to implement the MEDEVAC Programme, including the representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence (the General Staff of the Army of the Czech Republic) and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The first meeting of the interdepartmental working group on the implementation of the Permanent Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC was held at the Ministry of the Interior on 22 February 2016. It approved the annual framework priorities of the Permanent Medical Humanitarian Programme MEDEVAC as well as individual priorities and projects planned for 2016, including the proposed budget.

In 2016, the Permanent Humanitarian Medical Programme is implemented through the following projects and activities: deployment of medical teams abroad, medical humanitarian evacuations of persons for treatment in the Czech Republic, training of the medical staff and newly also through financial donations abroad to support and develop the health care infrastructure in the countries affected by war, humanitarian and natural disasters.  

The programme is implemented in seven countries: Jordan, Iraq - the Iraqi Region of Kurdistan, Ukraine, Cambodia, Kenya, Morocco and Nepal with the participation of six hospitals under the direct authority of the Ministry of Health: Motol University Hospital, General University Hospital in Prague, Bulovka Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital, Hradec Králové University Hospital, University Hospital in Ostrava and Central Military Hospital that is under the direct authority of the Ministry of Defence.

The budget for the implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2016 is CZK 60 million.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics (March 2nd - March 11th,  2016)

A team from the Orthopaedic Clinic of Bulovka Hospital was sent to Al-Khalidi Hospital in Amman at the beginning of March. The medical team comprising two surgeons (orthopaedists), an anaesthesiologist, a scrub nurse and a mission administrator provided surgeries and treatment of war injuries of Syrian refugees from refugee camps as well as surgeries in children and adult patients with acquired and congenital defects of the musculoskeletal system. The MEDEVAC Programme in Jordan has been focusing on treatment and surgeries of vulnerable groups of inhabitants on a long-term basis, i.e. it focuses both on Syrian refugees in Jordan and on the socially weak Jordanians who mostly cannot afford health care services.

The team examined 45 patients with post-traumatic, congenital and degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Twenty patients were selected for a surgery, sixteen of which were operated. Upon departure of Czech doctors, all patients were stabilised and without any apparent complications. Cooperation with Al-Khalidi Hospital in Amman has been at a very high level for a long time, whether it includes the accommodating approach of the local staff to the requirements of the Czech doctors or instrumentation and equipment of operating theatres and sanitary conditions.
 

Morocco / Interior Ministry, Motol University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip (March 13th - March 16th, 2016)

A reconnaissance mission to Morocco took place between 13 and 16 March 2016 in order to find partner hospitals for the MEDEVAC Programme. It also mapped out the situation in the health care provision in Morocco and chose preferences and conditions to activate the MEDEVAC Programme in Morocco. Czech hospitals were represented by a team of doctors from Bulovka Hospital and the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital.

Although Morocco is not a country affected by war or another humanitarian disaster, there are huge social differences in the country. Foundation hospital Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Hassan II in Fez was selected as a partner hospital. It was established and is financed by the Lalla Salma Foundation managed by a wife of the Moroccan king. This hospital provides health care services to socially weaker groups of inhabitants and it is the only hospital focused on paediatrics in its region (serving approx. 120,000 people). Following the visit of the medical team from the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital, future cooperation was agreed in the field of paediatric heart surgery with a focus on congenital heart defects in children from the socially weak groups of inhabitants.
 

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology + Physiotherapy (March 29th - April 9th, 2016)

A medical team from Olomouc University Hospital comprising two surgeons (specialising in trauma surgery of limbs), one anaesthesiologist and a physiotherapist (specialising in rehabilitation of hand and musculoskeletal system traumas) was deployed at Palestine Hospital, a charity hospital in Jordan, between 29 March and 9 April. They performed a total of twelve surgeries in ten patients. The interventions mostly included secondary surgeries after war injuries that could not be primarily sufficiently treated or where complications occurred during the healing process. The follow-up rehabilitation supervised by an experienced physiotherapist was perceived as a very important part of the entire treatment process.

Olomouc University Hospital worked at a new partner hospital, Palestine Hospital, for the first time. It was chosen during the reconnaissance trip of a MEDEVAC Programme coordinator and the representatives of the Czech cooperating hospitals at the end of 2015. After experience of this first mission, this hospital suits the needs of Czech doctors, in particular with respect to personnel. The team highly appreciated the professional approach of all members of the medical staff which helped prevent the everyday vices such as unpunctuality, organisational chaos in patient admission and long delays between individual interventions. Cooperation with Jordanian doctor Watheq Al-Qsous who arranged communication between the Czech team, patients and the hospital management was an important contribution for the entire mission.
 

Cambodia / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (March 29th - April 13th, 2016)

The medical mission from the Children's Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital under the MEDEVAC Programme was for the second time sent to Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The team examined 23 pre-selected patients (children), 13 of which were operated. It also selected three children for preferable treatment in the Czech Republic due to their health condition (complicated congenital heart defects). During surgeries and post-operative care, the Czech doctors closely cooperated with the Cambodian staff, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, perfusionists, cardiologists and scrub nurses. Two Czech nurses focusing on post-operative care were also involved and they also provided education to the local paramedical staff.

Considering the care for children with congenital heart disease, post-operative care for small children and children after lengthy and complicated surgeries remains the main problem at Calmette Hospital. That is why expert supervision of a Czech specialist and targeted ECHO examinations are necessary before any surgery and early after the surgery. Other problems include a lack of special medical supplies, some instruments for paediatric heart surgery (sternal saws, headlamps, fine vascular clips and tweezers) and especially a lack of blood derivatives, vasodilatations and other preparations. It is also a big problem that not all doctors and nurses can speak good English, which complicates fast and accurate communication during operations and in post-operative care.
 

Jordan / Central Military Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip (April 17th - April 21st, 2016)

Between 17 and 21 April 2016, a team of doctors from Central Military Hospital in Prague-Střešovice conducted a reconnaissance trip to Jordan in order to assess possibilities of the future mission in traumatology, ophthalmology and ENT. During this mission, doctors visited four hospitals (Al Khalidi Medical Center, Palestine Hospital, Eye Shami Center, Princess Iman Hospital), three of which suit the doctor requirements and meet sanitary and other standards of European hospitals. The state hospital in the Ghor Province was included in the selection in order to understand the contrast between the quality of the selected hospitals and state-run medical facilities. During the trip, the team was accompanied by a Jordanian medical expert of the Czech MEDEVAC Programme who helped the doctors familiarise themselves with the Jordanian health care infrastructure and lead talks with the Jordanian hospitals. The Czech ambassador to Amman also officially received the delegation of Czech doctors.

The representatives of individual medical teams agreed to take part in medical missions to Jordan in the upcoming months.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (April 17th - April 26th, 2016)

A team of ophthalmologists comprising two specialists and a nurse was sent to Jordan for the second time where they mostly operated Syrian refugees under the MEDEVAC Programme. Following the experience from the previous year, this mission again focused on eye cataract surgeries as a highly efficient and effective help without any lengthy follow-up care. The team performed 118 surgical interventions (advanced, mature and very complicated cataract cases).

Photo gallery: Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophtalmology Photo gallery
 

Kenya / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery - Surgeries and Training (April 19th - May 19th, 2016)

Three Kenyan girls aged between one and three years accompanied by their mothers arrived to the Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital in the spring of 2016. Their physician and nurse from The Mater Hospital in Nairobi came together with them.

The girls were selected by the doctors from Motol University Hospital during their mission in Kenya in autumn 2015 due to their diagnosis of congenital heart disease that could not be operated under the local conditions. It was therefore decided that the children should be brought to the Czech Republic for treatment where a successful heart surgery was performed. Both girls quickly recovered after the operation and could return home without any complications almost after one month. The action was carried out with assistance of the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Prague that provided the mothers and children with social assistance and interpreting services.

During their hospitalisation and the follow-up post-operative treatment outside the hospital, Motol University Hospital also provided education to the Kenyan doctor and nurse from the hospital in Nairobi. Motol University Hospital has been cooperating with this medical centre for five years, with the last two years of cooperation being implemented under the MEDEVAC Programme. A team of doctors from the Heart Centre of Motol University Hospital is sent to Kenya every year to operate children with congenital heart defects. This form of assistance to a developing country is more cost-efficient than evacuations of patients to the Czech Republic. That is why it receives continued support from the Czech government.

Photo gallery: Kenya / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery Photo gallery
 

Iraq - the Iraqi Kurdistan Region / General University Hospital - Training of Kurdish Doctors (May 2nd - May 30th, 2016)

Following the experience from 2015, a training course was held in May 2016 for six Kurdish doctors and six members of the paramedical staff specialising in traumatology. The training course was organised in cooperation with the First Surgical Clinic of Thoracic, Abdominal and Injury Surgery of General University Hospital in Prague and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. The nominees for this type of training must have been doctors under 40 years of age who have not decided for their traumatology specialty yet. The training programme included lectures and simulations on digital models in the simulation centre of the Institute of Physiology of the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University. The interns also took part in a three-day course at the Centre for Hand Surgery in Vysoké nad Jizerou. Depending on the specialty of the Kurdish doctors, an internship and seminars were organised at the First Surgical Clinic of General University Hospital and the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University and Královské Vinohrady University Hospital which offered an internship at the Burn Clinic. The training also included a visit to the MEDIN training centre in Nové Město na Moravě where the Kurdish doctors could try work with bone implants during a practical workshop.

Photo gallery: Iraq / General University Hospital - Training of Kurdish Doctors Photo gallery
 

Prague Surgical Days Conference (May 17th, 2016)

On 16 and 17 May 2016, the 23rd annual Prague Surgical Days conference, organised by General University Hospital in Prague, took place. One day of this important medical conference was devoted to the MEDEVAC Programme and its activities. This government-run medical humanitarian programme is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior, which founded it in 1993.

The first speeches were given by ministry representatives (Ing. Jiří Nováček, First Deputy Interior Minister; PhDr. Tomáš Haišman, Asylum and Migration Policy department director; and Petr Hladík, Czech Ambassador to Jordan, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and management representatives of the hospitals that participate in the MEDEVAC Programme by sending their medical teams abroad, providing treatment to foreign patients, or training foreign doctors and medical staff in the Czech Republic and abroad.

The other lectures were given by the representatives (physicians) of the respective teams that were sent on a mission abroad within the MEDEVAC framework (in particular to Jordan, Kenya and Cambodia) and who presented to the professional public their deployment in hospitals abroad whose standards are often far from those in Europe, be it in equipment or the treatment itself. The final lecture was given by Watheq Al-Qsous, a Jordanian orthopaedist who studied in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s. Apart from professional medical information, his lecture also dealt with the wider context of the MEDEVAC Programme in Jordan, where the assistance of Czech physicians focuses primarily on operating war injuries suffered by Syrian refugees or on congenital defects in socially disadvantaged Jordanian citizens.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic and Reconstructive surgery (May 25th - June 3rd, 2016)

For the fourth time, the Bulovka Hospital plastic surgery team, consisting of two plastic surgeons, a surgical nurse and the mission administrator, was sent to Amman, the Jordanian capital. In the local charity hospital – Palestine Hospital – they operated Syrian refugees, primarily reconstructing post-injury conditions on the arms, operating congenital defects of the upper and lower extremities, and correcting deforming and contracting post-injury scars. Within the framework of the mission, 31 patients were treated during pre-operative examinations, 18 of whom (nine children and nine adults) were selected for surgery.

The Bulovka Hospital team performed surgeries at Palestine Hospital for the first time. It was selected during the previous missions in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior coordinator, representatives of other hospitals, and a local Jordanian specialist. This hospital is suitably equipped for the medical interventions performed by the physicians of the plastic-surgery team. The Czech doctors also appreciated the very welcoming approach of the hospital management and the medical staff with which they collaborated during the surgeries.
 

Morocco / Visit by Moroccan Physicians to the Czech Republic - Reconnaissance Trip (May 31st - June 4th, 2016)

Following the reconnaissance trip by Czech doctors (cardiologists from Motol and other specialists from Bulovka Hospital) to Morocco on 13-16 March 2016, Moroccan colleagues visited two Czech medical facilities under the MEDEVAC Programme: Bulovka Hospital and Motol Hospital.

A total of nine Moroccan physicians participated in consultations in the Czech Republic. They were led by the director of the Hassan II University Hospital and the business counsel from the embassy in Rabat as the companion and interpreter for this group of doctors.

During their visit to Motol Hospital’s Children’s Heart Centre, the Moroccan physicians met Prof. MUDr. Tomáš Tláskal, CSc. and MUDr. Peter Kubuš, the chief of the paediatric cardiology ward. Apart from preparing the Czech cardiologists’ mission to Morocco (in the second half of September 2016), the possibility of training nurses, the numbers and types of surgeries performed in the Motol heart centre, heart transplants, the issue of organ donations, waiting times, etc. were discussed.

Bulovka Hospital presented individual specialised wards to the Moroccan delegation, which was primarily impressed by the state-of-the-art laboratory and the hospital pharmacy. One possibility for future cooperation with the Moroccan hospital is based on the need for professional training for surgical nurses and nurses and for the use of professional knowledge in the field of paediatric orthopaedics.

The visit by the Moroccan physicians was very positively evaluated by all the participating parties - by the delegation from the Hassan II University Hospital in Fez and by the Czech hospitals involved in the activities of the MEDEVAC Morocco Programme.
 

Morocco / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (September 18th - September 30th, 2016)

This September, the team from Motol Hospital’s Children’s Heart Centre was sent on its first Czech-Slovak heart surgery mission to Morocco. There, it focused on operating children with congenital heart defects, stemming from socially disadvantaged families, at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Hassan II in Fez.

Since these were the very first activities within the MEDEVAC Programme in Morocco, this mission was implemented based on two reconnaissance trips – by Czech physicians to Morocco and by Moroccan physicians to the Czech Republic this spring. Both medical teams had the opportunity to learn about the situation in each other’s country in the field of paediatric heart surgery. The embassy in Rabat played an irreplaceable role in the overall organisation and planning and communication between both parties.

In cooperation with the Moroccan doctors, more than 25 patients were pre-selected from a database of 123 children waiting for surgery and examined. The cohort primarily contained patients with serious congenital heart defects and serious cyanosis, symptoms of heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, and/or overall dystrophy. In the end, thirteen children were selected and operated.

During the surgeries and post-operative care, the Czech physicians closely collaborated with the Moroccan staff, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, perfusionists, cardiologists, surgical nurses and ICU nurses. Contributing to these activities significantly were two Slovak nurses who, apart from post-operative care, also focused on educating allied medical staff.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (September 25th - October 4th, 2016)

For the third time, a team of ophthalmologists, consisting of two specialists (led by Prof. Jirásková) and a nurse, was sent to Jordan where they performed 192 surgical interventions. The mission again focused on cataract surgeries that are very efficient and helpful without long-term follow-up care. At the Al Khalidi Medical Centre, a brand new eye centre with two operating theatres was built for MEDEVAC purposes and is also used by the locals. The physicians appreciated the approach of the hospital and the local medical staff as well as the lack of delays between individual surgeries, which resulted in operations being performed on a record number of patients in the two operating theatres.

Photo gallery: Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophtalmology Photo gallery
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (September 28th - October 7th,  2016)

The medical team, consisting of two surgeons (led by MUDr. Molitor), a nurse and the mission administrator, focused primarily on reconstructing post-injury conditions on the arms (joints, tendons), correcting post-injury scars (mainly burns), and operating acquired and congenital developmental defects of the extremities. At Palestine Hospital, a total of 40 patients were examined and thirty were operated. The surgeries were without larger complications, and the patients received follow-up examinations by Jordanian expert physician Watheq Al-Qsous.

Photo gallery: Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Photo gallery
 

Jordan / General University Hospital - Traumatology (October 4th - October 15th, 2016)

On October 4, mission head MUDr. Burget pre-selected patients at Palestine Hospital and subsequently 21 patients were successfully operated. The traumatology mission comprised four physicians, a physiotherapist and a nurse. The medical team focused primarily on reconstructive surgery cases with an emphasis on the musculoskeletal system. For some of the surgeries, instruments from Czech company MEDIN were used. Similarly to the previous missions, the post-operative follow-up care was provided by a Jordanian physician who has been successfully collaborating with the Czech teams for two years.

Photo gallery: Jordan / General University Hospital - Traumatology Photo gallery
 

Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Training Kurdish Ophthalmologists (October 16th - October 28th, 2016)

In cooperation with Hradec Králové University Hospital, Kurdish eye specialists were trained for the first time in the second half of October. The objective of their internship at Hradec Králové Hospital’s Eye Clinic was to improve and deepen the knowledge level of individual ophthalmology segments for resident physicians from the Kurdish Duhok Eye Hospital. During the internship, two female and two male Kurdish physicians had the opportunity not only to encounter all ophthalmological areas (diagnostic, treatment and surgical), but also to learn about the management of the eye centre and its systematic organisation, which is very efficient due to its high level of specialisation and its planning system and which does not exist in their country yet.

The city of Duhok is located less than 100 km from Mosul in Iraq, which in recent months has seen military operations to liberate the city from ISIL. In Duhok, ophthalmology patients are therefore not only common patients, but also refugees, civilians with serious war injuries. The hospital, due to its equipment and mainly its lacking in staff, is not sufficient to cope with such a high number of patients in need of medical treatment. The Kurdish health care system is overburdened by the influx of refugees from Syria and internally displaced citizens within Iraq, and many physicians have left for abroad. For the young Kurdish doctors, the experience and new knowledge acquired during their internship are very valuable; they have the possibility of applying them during their everyday medical practice and sharing them with their colleagues.

Photo gallery: Hradec Králové University Hospital - Training Kurdish Ophthalmologists Photo gallery
 

Iraq - Iraqi Region of Kurdistan / Olomouc University Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip, Training, Traumatology (October 24th - November 4th, 2016)

Based on the successful traumatology training of Kurdish physicians and medical staff in the spring of 2016 at General University Hospital in Prague, a multidisciplinary team (two surgeon-traumatologists and an anaesthesiologist) was sent on a reconnaissance mission from Olomouc University Hospital, connected with direct aid by Czech physicians in the Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. During their trip, the physicians got to know two local hospitals – the Emergency Teaching Hospital and the Emergency Hospital in Zakho, which provide treatment to patients with acute injuries, both civilian and war-related. In collaboration with local physicians, the Czech doctors participated in the triage, diagnostics and stabilisation of injured patients in the emergency ward and in the surgical treatment of these injuries, both during the day and at night. They were “on call” at all times during their stay. In cooperation with the local Directorate General of Health, the Czech physicians also participated in the Life Support training programme for graduates of the University of Duhok’s Faculty of Medicine. The Consulate General in Erbil also participated in the planning and organisation of the entire mission.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics, ENT (November 1st - November 12th, 2016)

At the beginning of November, two teams from the Military University Hospital in Prague, a participant in the MEDEVAC Programme since January 2016, were sent to the Jordanian capital Amman for the first time. The ENT medical team focused on surgeries in young children – Syrian refugees living in refugee camps in Jordan – with long-term respiratory-system problems, such as chronic rhinitis, nasopharyngitis and bronchitis. Thanks to the surgeries on their adenoids and tonsils, which are relatively non-demanding interventions for children, the overall health condition of the young patients significantly improved shortly after the surgery. Overall, 68 surgeries were performed without subsequent post-operative complications. The second team consisted of orthopaedic specialists (three surgeons, an anaesthesiologist and a surgical nurse) and focused on surgeries on the musculoskeletal system of older patients of Syrian origin, mainly total knee replacements and knee arthroscopies. During their mission, fifteen patients were operated.

Photo gallery: Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics, ENT Photo gallery
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology (November 30th - December 9th, 2016)

For the fourth time, a team of orthopaedists from Bulovka Hospital, under the leadership of Doc. Chomiak, was sent to Jordan, and for the first time, an eye specialist, accompanied by a nurse, joined the mission. Both medical teams worked at Al Khalidi Hospital. The Czech ophthalmologist performed 62 cataract surgeries in seven surgery days, and a Jordanian ophthalmologist is taking care of the post-operative follow-up care. Due to the approach of the local hospital, the surgeries are performed smoothly and without unnecessary delays. Cataract surgeries last fewer than 30 minutes on average and are almost without any subsequent post-operative complications.

The orthopaedic team, consisting of two orthopaedic surgeons, a female anaesthesiologist, a surgical nurse and the mission administrator, again dealt with surgeries and treatment of war injuries on Syrian refugees from refugee camps and with surgeries on Syrian paediatric and adult patients with acquired and congenital defects of the musculoskeletal apparatus. On 1 December, pre-selection took place, during which 39 patients were examined. On 24 of them, a total of 30 surgeries were performed. They mainly consisted of total joint replacements (knees, hips), for which material and instruments from the company BEZNOSKA were brought along. There has been a high level of cooperation with Al Khalidi Hospital in Amman for a long time, be it the welcoming attitude of the local staff with regard to the requirements of the Czech physicians, the instruments and equipment in the operating theatres, or the sanitary conditions.

A total of 14 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee joint were given 42 Intragel injections. During the treatment, three injections were gradually applied to one knee joint. The application by injection was chosen as an alternative to total knee replacement surgery.

  

MEDEVAC in 2017

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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.

  

MEDEVAC in 2018

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MEDEVAC in 2018

In 2018, the MEDEVAC Programme was implemented under a 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 2018, the Working Group held two meetings. At the fifth meeting overall, which took place on 21 February 2018, the territorial priorities and the forms of implementing the Programme in 2018 were approved. On 6 September 2018, the sixth meeting was held where the Working Group reviewed the implementation of the financial plan so far and the activities of the MEDEVAC Programme for the first half of the year 2018, and the projects for the second half of the year were modified and specified in view of the current situation.

Sending Czech medical teams abroad remained the priority of the Programme in 2018. Other activities under the Programme were focused on training foreign medical staff (both in their countries of origin and in the Czech Republic), strengthening the healthcare infrastructure of the foreign partners involved in the MEDEVAC Programme and making financial donations to support development of their healthcare systems.

In 2018, the Programme’s activities were concentrated on 8 countries reflecting its territorial priorities. In the Middle East, the Programme operated primarily in Jordan, which remained the priority country in 2018, to which medical teams were sent. Assistance was also provided to other countries in the region, for example in the form of a financial donation, which was sent to Iraq, or in the form of medical evacuation, which involved evacuating a four-month-old child from Afghanistan to the Czech Republic for heart surgery. A reconnaissance mission to Lebanon was also carried out for the purpose of implementing future missions. 3 missions were sent to Senegal, which was the Programme’s primary focus in Africa. Assistance was also focused on Libya and Niger where it took on the form of financial donations. In 2018, the MEDEVAC Programme remained present in Eastern Europe, building on its previous successful trainings of medical staff in the field of physiotherapy in Ukraine.

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 in Prague, Královské Vinohrady University Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital and Hradec Králové University Hospital.

Implementation of the MEDEVAC Programme in 2018

  • 14 medical teams sent abroad
  • 896 professional surgeries carried out abroad (in the fields of paediatric heart surgery, gynaecology, ophthalmology, ENT, orthopaedics, reconstructive and plastic surgery and traumatology)
  • more than 1,200 professional examinations with diagnostics
  • 3 reconnaissance trips abroad to prepare future missions of the MEDEVAC Programme (Lebanon, Senegal)
  • 1 medical humanitarian evacuation from Afghanistan to the Czech Republic for treatment
  • 2 professional educational stays of medical staff with a focus on rehabilitation in Czech hospitals under direct responsibility of the Ministry of Health for a total of 11 Ukrainian professionals
  • 2 trainings of foreign medical staff in the fields of ergotherapy and physiotherapy in Ukraine for more than 100 persons
  • 4 financial donations totalling 20 million CZK for renovating medical centres, equipping hospitals with medical devices and training medical staff in Iraq, Libya, Niger and Ukraine (ADRA, CARE, Caritas, ICRC)
  • participation of the MEDEVAC Programme in the Europe Day 2018
  • organising the first exhibition of the Programme titled “Flying Doctors” in the National Technical Library in Prague from 5 February to 16 March 2018, and lending the exhibition abroad (Amman, Brussels, Geneva) and to partner hospitals (Olomouc University Hospital, General University Hospital)
     

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training of Physiotherapists (January 22nd - February 16th, 2018)

Early in the year, medical staff from the Kiev Regional Hospital arrived in the Czech Republic for training. The intensive training of seven persons (physiotherapists, ergotherapists, physicians and nurses) built on previous four-day training, which took place in Ukraine in September 2017. Once again, the training was led by the experts from the General University Hospital and the Bulovka Hospital and was divided into two parts; the focus during the first week was on theoretical preparations; whereas during the next two weeks, the participants were personally applying the knowledge in practice.
 

Jordan / General University Hospital - Traumatology (March 7th - March 17th, 2018)

The first mission to Jordan in 2018 took place in March when a team of orthopaedists and traumatologists from the General University Hospital was sent to the Al Khalidi Hospital in Amman. 56 patients were examined in the pre-selection process; 22 of them were chosen for surgery. Due to an illness of one of them, surgeries were eventually performed on 21 patients in five operating days. The team concentrated on acute injuries as well as older and poorly healed surgical wounds. For all surgeries performed, follow-up rehabilitation was provided.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology (March 14th - March 23rd, 2018)

In late March, a team of specialists from the Bulovka Hospital was sent to Jordan. The ophthalmologist performed 62 cataract surgeries over a period of 7 operating days. This was the seventh time that the orthopaedic team operated in the Al Khalidi Hospital. 123 patients were examined in the pre-selection process; 20 of them were operated on and a total of 27 surgical procedures were carried out. Another 15 patients were given a total of 75 injections to ensure continuing mobility of their knee joints.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training of Physiotherapists (March 19th - April 13th, 2018)

Physiotherapists and ergotherapists from the Kiev Regional Hospital attended training in the General University Hospital and Bulovka hospital, following their previous visits. A supervisory trip of Czech experts will be made in autumn as a follow-up to the educational stay in order to verify practical application of the trainees’ knowledge in their everyday work in Ukraine.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (April 9th - April 18th, 2018)

The team of physicians from the Hradec Králové University Hospital was sent to their sixth mission under the MEDEVAC Programme in April 2018. Over a period of seven operating days, the ophthalmological team under the direction of prof. Naďa Jirásková operated a record number of 211 patients. All surgeries were successful and enabled patients to return to the labour market.
 

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Plastic Surgery (April 11th - April 20th, 2018)

During their mission, the medical team from the Bulovka Hospital focused on the correction of posttraumatic scars and surgeries of congenital limb development defects. 51 Syrian refugees, predominantly from the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, attended the pre-selection process; from among them, 21 individuals were chosen to undergo surgery in the following days. 4 more patients were treated with a non-invasive method.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Ophthalmology (April 22nd - May 1st, 2018)

For the third time, the Military University Hospital sent their ophthalmology team to Jordan. Although they encountered some very complicated cases, doc. Pašta and his team were able to carry out all surgical procedures without complications. Over 7 operating days, the team performed 126 successful cataract surgeries.
 

Jordan / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology/Orthopaedics (April 24th - May 4th, 2018)

At the turn of April and May, a team of experts on trauma surgery was sent from the Olomouc University Hospital. The team concentrated not only on acute injuries but also on older injuries, which had already been surgically treated, or on removal of metal pieces from bodies. A total of 51 patients were examined in the pre-selection process; 17 of them were chosen for surgery regardless of their age. During the mission, another 3 chosen individuals received injections to their joints, which served as an alternative to joint replacement. A total of 15 procedures were carried out.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics (May 1st - May 11th, 2018)

During their mission, the team of orthopaedists from the Military University Hospital consisting of two surgeons, one anaesthesiologist and a male nurse focused on surgical procedures involving knee and hip joint replacements. In the pre-selection process, the specialists examined 53 patients; 22 of them were operated on in the following days. There were no major complications during the surgeries. In addition to that, selected patients were given injections as an alternative to joint surgery; a total of 9 non-invasive procedures were carried out.
 

Jordan / Motol University Hospital - Paediatric Heart Surgery (May 8th - May 17th, 2018)

A large team from the Motol University Hospital started their mission in Amman in May by diagnosing and pre-selecting child patients for congenital heart defect surgeries, particularly for ventricular septal defect surgeries. 20 children were examined in the pre-selection process; 14 of them underwent complicated surgeries in the following days. Primarily the children of Syrian refugees living in a refugee camp were operated on; Jordanians from the poorer segments of population were also operated on.
 

Lebanon - Ophthalmology (May 7th - May 14th, 2018)

In May, a Czech humanitarian expert was sent to Lebanon to visit local ophthalmological centres and meet with international non-governmental organisations (UNHCR, AMEL) to discuss establishing cooperation and ensuring implementation of future ophthalmological missions to Lebanon. The aim of the visit was to secure mechanisms for functional mobilisation of patients, to discuss and agree on the method of pre-selecting patients and to create conditions for effective implementation of medical missions in 2019.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training of Physiotherapists (May 27th - May 30th, 2018)

In late May, a supervisory visit by Czech medical teams from the General University Hospital and the Bulovka Hospital took place in the Kiev Regional Hospital. Its purpose was to verify the knowledge gained by the Ukrainian trainees during their educational stay in the Czech Republic by testing them and by carrying out practical trainings with the trainees. The supervisory visit also included lectures focused on rehabilitation in the everyday practice of nurses.
 

Jordan / Královské Vinohrady University Hospital - Plastic Surgery (September 19th - September 29th, 2018)

After the successful reconnaissance trip made in autumn 2017, the medical team from the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital set out on their first mission under the direction of doc. Sukop. In the pre-selection process, the team examined a total of 48 patients, from among whom 21 were chosen for surgery, which they underwent in the following days. The surgeries were mainly limb development defect surgeries and corrections of posttraumatic scars. In one patient, a non-invasive procedure, which served as an alternative to surgery, was carried out during the mission.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Physiotherapy (October 1st - October 5th, 2018)

In October, training took place in the Kiev Regional Hospital. This time, its focus was on more complicated cases and it consisted of lectures and work with local physiotherapists. The representatives of Ukrainian universities where physiotherapy education has already been started also attended the lectures. The training also included meetings with the representatives of the Kiev Regional Hospital and Ukrainian universities held to discuss further cooperation under the Programme.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (November 19th - November 29th, 2018)

For the seventh time, the team of physicians from the Hradec Králové University Hospital was sent to Jordan. Over a period of ten operating days, the team performed a record number of 258 cataract surgeries. All the cataract surgeries were without major complications and allowed the Syrian refugees and socially disadvantaged Jordanians to return to active life.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics (November 21st - November 30th, 2018)

In late November, the team of orthopaedists from the Military University Hospital in Prague visited Jordan for the second time this year. During their stay, the team examined a total of 60 persons, from among whom 18 underwent surgery (such as knee and hip joint replacement, osteotomy, hip joint dysplasia…). Another 19 patients were given injections as an alternative to a surgical procedure; a total of 81 non-invasive procedures were carried out.
 

Senegal / Motol University Hospital - ENT (November 21st - December 2nd, 2018)

Physicians from the Motol University Hospital participated in their second mission to Senegal. During their stay, they performed surgeries on a total of 55 adult and child patients, and all surgical procedures were without major complications. During the mission, three operating theatres were used – one for patients with ear problems, one for patients with throat problems and one for patients with nose problems. During the treatment, the Czech physicians were also training medical staff not only from Senegal but also from Congo, Guinea and Equatorial Guinea.
 

Senegal / Bulovka Hospital - Gynaecology (November 28th - December 9th, 2018)

At the turn of November and December, the medical team from the Bulovka Hospital based in Prague was sent to Senegal for the second time. During their stay, the physicians carried out gynaecological examinations of a total of 73 female patients; 13 of them underwent surgery in the following days. 12 conisations of cervix, 2 curettage procedures and 8 hysteroscopies were carried out. All surgical procedures were without complications.
 

Afghanistan / Medical Humanitarian Transport (December 14th, 2018 - January 10th, 2019)

In December, a four-month-old Afghan patient suffering from a ventricular defect was transported to the Children’s Heart Centre of the Motol University Hospital. The patient was chosen for participation in the MEDEVAC Programme by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kabul in cooperation with the local Ministry of Health. The project took place with the help of the Army of the Czech Republic, which provided the transport, and the Caritas of the Archdiocese of Prague, which provided social assistance and interpreting. The patient was successfully operated on and was transported back to Afghanistan in January 2019.

  

MEDEVAC in 2019

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MEDEVAC in 2019

The MEDEVAC Czech Programme in the 2019

  • 21 medical teams deployed abroad (Bulovka Hospital, General University Hospital, Hradec Králové University Hospital, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Motol University Hospital, Military University Hospital, Olomouc University Hospital, Vinohrady University Hospital)
  • 774 patients operated abroad (ENT, gyneacology, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatric heart surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, traumatology)
  • Nearly 1200 expert diagnostic examinations
  • 205 non-invasive interventions as a substitution for surgery
  • 3 reconnaissance missions abroad (Ethiopia,  Ghana, Morocco)
  • 4 expert internships of foreign medical staff at Czech hospitals (15 individuals from Ethiopia, Morocco, Ukraine)
  • 5 training sessions for foreign medical staff in Ethiopia and Ukraine (177 attendees)
  • 1 pre-selection mission in Lebanon
  • 2 supported project to enhance the infrastructure totaling approx. 10 mil. CZK in Burkina Faso and Mauritania in partnership with  Light for the World and Lutheran World Federation
  • Participation of MEDEVAC Czech Programme at European Development Days in Brussels and at European Days in Prague
  • 7 times exhibition of Flying Doctors in CZ, 1 time abroad(NYC)

  

Jordan / Bulovka Hospital - Orthopaedics (January 30th - February 8th, 2019)

The first mission of the MEDEVAC programme in 2019 was launched by an orthopaedic team led by Prof. Chomiak in Amman, Jordan. At total of 45 patients with post-trauma, congenital and degenerative defects of the muscular skeletal system underwent the selection process conducted by the four-member team from Bulovka Hospital, which has been a permanent participant in the programme since 2014. After careful deliberation, 19 of them were selected. In the end, due to illness only 18 patients were operated on, with a total of 22 surgical procedures performed.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital - Physiotherapy (February 4th - February 7th, 2019)

At the beginning of February, a physiotherapist, ergotherapist and nurse training mission took place in Kiev. The mission consisted of lectures for the personnel of Kiev Regional Hospital and educators from Ukrainian departments of physiotherapy. The mission also involved work by the Czech team with complicated cases chosen from among hospital patients. During the trip, interviews were conducted with candidates for internships in the Czech Republic. In the end, 5 interns from among Ukrainian educators and three interns from the Kiev Regional Hospital staff were chosen.
 

Lebanon / General University Hospital - Ophthalmology (February 26th - March 1st, 2019)

A MEDEVAC pre-selection mission took place with the aim of creating a mechanism for pre-selection of patients for future ophthalmology missions. MUDr. Petr Sklenka, a doctor from the General University Hospital, examined a total of 63 persons, 34 of whom were selected for a cataract operation. This mission was followed by the first medical mission in mid March when the operations themselves were performed.
 

Lebanon / General University Hospital - Ophthalmology (March 18th - March 29th, 2019)

The ophthalmology team from the General UH conducted their first mission which was also the very first MEDEVAC mission in Lebanon. During ten days of operations, a total of 83 patients had grey cataract operations, primarily Syrian refugees and socially disadvantaged Lebanese who otherwise would have no access to such treatment. Despite the fact that some cases were fairly complicated, all procedures took place without any serious complications. During these operations, the Czech medical team used new ophthalmological apparatus that was bought for the Lebanese partner hospital (Rafik Hariri University Hospital) under the MEDEVAC programme last year.
 

Ethiopia / Hradec Králové UH, Military University Hospital, Hospimed - Technician training (March 18th - March 23rd, 2019)

The second half of March saw the first MEDEVAC mission in Ethiopia which focused on assistance of local personnel in the area of repairs and diagnosis of defects in medical apparatus. Over the course of 4 days, three biomedicine engineers from Hradec Králové UH, the Military UH and Hospimed, who trained local personnel and checked the functioning of the apparatus in the ophthalmology department of Menelik II State Hospital.
 

Senegal / General University Hospital - Traumatology (March 26th - April 7th, 2019)

Between 26th March and 7th April, the first traumatology mission visited the Senegalese city of Thiés. A team comprising three surgeons, one nurse and one physiotherapist targeted patients with fractures of the lower limbs. Mostly this involved complications with fracture healing (false joints, infected fractures, badly-aligned healed fractures) which, given the local conditions with limited apparatus, the hospital in Thiés was not able to treat alone. In all, operations were performed on 20 patients from socially disadvantaged areas.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Ophthalmology (March 28th - April 7th, 2019)

Although the Military University Hospital team has only been participating in the programme since 2017, it soon established itself as one of the best. The two-person team comprising doc. Jiří Pašta and instrument nurse Věra Pilíková visited Al Khalidi Hospital for the fourth time already and during eight operation days managed to operate on 144 patients (82 men / 62 women) simultaneously in two operation theatres. One fifth concerned congenital syndromes, the remaining patients had late stage cataracts removed.
 

Jordan / Motol UH - Paediatric heart surgery (April 1st - April 9th, 2019)

The Motol UH Paediatric Cardiac team was the first team to launch a medical mission abroad under the MEDEVAC programme. They have been travelling to Jordan regularly since 2013. This year, a three-member team led by MUDr. Bukovský operated on a total of 13 patients with congenital heart defects during 6 operation days. The patients’ ages ranged from 3 months to 18 years old and operations were responsible not for only improving the quality of their lives, but in some cases for actually saving their lives, because without the intervention of Czech doctors, the children would have died within a couple of months.
 

Jordan / Olomouc UH - Traumatology (April 3rd - April 12th, 2019)

In April, a three-member team of traumatologists from Olomouc UH also visited Jordan. Led by MUDr. Špiroch, the team operated in the new Shmaisani Hospital. This hospital was chosen on the basis of preceding reconnaissance trips, thereby increasing the portfolio of hospitals where MEDEVAC in Jordan. During pre-selection, the team examined 65 persons with post-trauma injuries, suffering from false joints and congenital defects. In the following 6 operation days, a record 28 patients had a total of 30 operations. Collaboration with the new hospital, as with the contracted doctor Dr. Al-Qsous, was excellent and we look forward to it continuing in the future.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital - Physiotherapy and ergotherapy lecturer training (May 6th - May 24th, 2019)

Training newly includes the academic aspect of physiotherapy and ergotherapy. Five lecturers from Ukrainian universities who were familiarised with tuition methods in the fields in the Czech Republic and their practical application. They will be able to share the experienced gained with their colleagues and students in Ukraine.
 

Ukraine / Bulovka Hospital - Physiotherapist training (May 13th - May 24th, 2019)

A visit by physiotherapists to Bulovka Hospital served to deepen their knowledge and practical skills gained in previous internships. Organisation and cooperation between doctor, physiotherapist and nurse is essential for physiotherapy – the doctor must first prescribe appropriate rehabilitation, the physiotherapist must perform the exercises correctly with the patient and the nurse ensures correct positioning and all-day care for the patient. Such cooperation is not ideal in the Kiev Regional Hospital, a for this reason an orthopaedic doctor also arrived for an internship to see for himself organisation of work, so he might apply the same model in his own hospital in Ukraine.
 

Ghana / Bulovka Hospital, Olomouc UH, UH Vinohrady - Reconnaissance mission (May 20th - May 24th, 2019)

Between May 23th and 24th, the first reconnaissance mission for the MEDEVAC programme visited the Republic of Ghana. The team comprised a team of specialists in various fields: an infectologist from Bulovka Hospital, a plastic and reconstruction surgeon from Vinohrady UH, a gynaecologist from Bulovka Hospital and a traumatologist from Olomouc UH. Three hospitals were visited over the course of four days in order to establish how well equipped they were and to establish a potential partnership for future execution of missions. At the same time a meeting took place with representatives of the UNHCR regarding the issue of mobility of refugee patients from neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo.
The first real mission in Ghana is planned for December 2019.
 

Morocco / Motol University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Reconnaissance Mission (July 17th - July 19th 2019)

In mid-July, the MEDEVAC team, consisting of representatives of 3 medical specialisations from the Motol UH (children’s cardiac surgery) and the Bulovka Hospital (orthopaedics and plastic surgery), was deployed on a reconnaissance mission to Morocco. Over a period of 3 days, the team visited 3 public hospitals in Rabat, Marrakesh and Casablanca. The goal of the mission was to find a suitable partner hospital for the implementation of future missions and the related training. The Programme had already operated in Morocco in the past but the goal is to focus not only on providing assistance to the Moroccan population and the local medical care system but also on providing care to refugees who are currently present in the country.
 

Jordan / Vinohrady University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (September 4th - September 14th, 2019)

The first specialisation deployed in autumn was plastic and reconstructive surgery; these specialists went on a joint mission of the Vinohrady UH and the Bulovka Hospital to Jordan. The tree-person team, consisting of the chief physicians prof. Sukop and MUDr. Molitor and the scrub nurse Hana Váňová, examined 36 patients, predominantly children who mostly suffered from extensive burns at the time of the pre-selection. Eventually, 18 of them, predominantly from among Syrian refugees and poor Jordanians, underwent surgery in the Al Khalidi Hospital based in Amman.
 

Ukraine / General University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Physical Therapy Training (September 10th - September 13th, 2019)

This visit to the Kiev Regional Hospital built on the previous training received by Ukrainian physical therapists and members of medical staff in Kiev and Prague. Teams from two Czech hospitals - the General UN in Prague and the Bulovka Hospital - participated in the mission. More than 40 persons from among the local medical staff, including nurses, physicians and speech therapists, in addition to physical therapists, received the training in the form of lectures, workshops and practical exercises. In 2020, the professional trainings and educational stays will continue both in Ukraine and in the Czech Republic. The activities of the MEDEVAC Programme will also newly focus on the academic sphere in the form of lectures at selected Ukrainian universities for students and lecturers, which will help to establish the field of physical therapy in Ukraine effectively and on a long-term basis.
 

Jordan / Military University Hospital - Orthopaedics (September 11th - September 19th, 2019)

The mission of orthopaedists from the Military UH, which took place from the 11th through to the 19th September, followed up on the September mission of plastic surgeons in the same hospital. A four-person team consisting of the chief physician MUDr. Vaněček, the surgeon MUDr. Vašek, the anaesthesiologist MUDr. Henlín and the instrument nurse Stanislav Žáček examined 49 patients during the pre-selection. The following days were filled with joint replacements, knee drilling and joint replacements. Some surgeries even corrected distorted feet. 16 patients of all ages were operated on and another 16 patients received non-invasive treatment (injections into knees/shoulders as a form of joint replacement). All surgeries ended exceedingly well and so the four-person team was able to return to Czechia after the final check-ups.
 

Ethiopia / Hradec Králové University Hospital, Military University Hospital, Hospimed - Technician Training, Motol University Hospital - Reconnaissance Trip (September 23rd - September 27th, 2019)

From the 22nd to the 29th September, a three-person team of biomedical engineers from the Hradec Králové UH, the Military UH and the Hospimed Company went to Ethiopia for the second time this year. During the one-week seminars in the Menelik II Hospital in Addis Ababa, the team consisting of Ing. Mikeš, Ing. Buršík and Ing. Zalužanský trained 23 technicians from a total of 10 public hospitals based in the capital city. During the training, the trainees learned, among other things, how magnetic resonance, the anaesthesia apparatus or phacoemulsification devices works. During the practical exercises, they were also able to try working with laser, microscopes or soldering instruments. The 10 most successful ones were awarded certificates. The training helped to improve the quality of care in local hospitals where there is a lot of non-functional apparatuses.
The visit included a reconnaissance mission to the Black Lion University hospital, during which prof. Tláskal from the Motol UH was identifying opportunities for future cooperation between the two hospitals in children’s cardiac surgery. During the visit, he took a look at the reconstructed department of cardiology and cardiac surgery as well as a building designed for treating cardiac diseases, which was under construction and which should be completed within 2 years and should be the largest of its kind in East Africa. Although the hospital situated in the capital city is equipped with modern apparatuses, consumables and medicines, which are very difficult to obtain in Ethiopia, this being a primary issue of the local healthcare system - there is a lack of suppliers, and basic necessities such as gloves, surgical masks or shoe covers are imported to this country in a complicated manner.
 

Senegal / Olomouc University Hospital - Traumatology (October 21st - October 31st, 2019)

This year’s second mission to Senegal took place traditionally in the city of Thiés, the third largest city in this country. The team from the Olomouc University Hospital who had already had extensive experience from Jordan carried out their first mission here. The three-person team consisting of MUDr. Korpa, MUDr. Kovařík and the instrument nurse Jaromíra Havránková operated on a total of 20 patients, in spite of the difficult conditions in the Centre Universitaire Regional de Thies public hospital, caused for example by a broken X-ray machine and high outdoor temperature levels. The patients were mostly victims of traffic accidents with lower limb injuries; these accidents are usually the result of the absence of transport infrastructure.
 

Iraq / IKEM - Infectology Training (October 21st - October 27th, 2019)

After a two-year pause, the MEDEVAC Programme went to Iraq once again in order to provide training in infectology. Dr. Smejkal from the Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine (IKEM) gave lectures at selected university hospitals in Erbil and its surroundings. Over a period of five days, 43 members of medical staff attended the lectures on the correct administration of antibiotics and possible resistance of microorganisms. The lectures had been originally planned for various places around the country, including the capital city of Baghdad and the central Iraq. Regrettably, due to civil unrest in the region, we were forced to limit the training to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
 

Jordan / Hradec Králové University Hospital - Ophthalmology (October 29th - November 8th, 2019)

A three-person team consisting of prof. Jirásková, MUDr. Marák and the instrument nurse Leona Kvasničková performed surgeries on an impressive number of 240 persons with advanced cataract in the Al Khalidi Hospital in Amman over a period of eight days. The surgeries were carried out without serious complications and all patients returned to their homes on the same day.
 

Jordan / General University Hospital - Traumatology + Training (October 29th - November 8th, 2019)

A four-person team consisting of MUDr. Burget, MUDr. Petr Baňař, the instrument nurse Daniela Pravdová and the physical therapist Petra Nováková examined a record number of 78 patients, predominantly from among Syrian refugees and poor Jordanians, in the Shmaisani Hospital. From among them, the team selected 25 patients for surgery and 14 patients for application of special injections, which served as knee joint replacements. Collaboration with UNHCR Jordan, which supplied some of the patients from the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, was a new development in this respect.
The mission was also accompanied by training in the public Jordan University Hospital where MUDr. Burget, the head of the mission, trained 18 members of medical staff over a period of several hours, for example, in how to act in the event of mass accidents and what steps the hospital should take in such an event. This was historically the first collaboration with this hospital and, most importantly, the first training in Jordan, which we would like to keep including in our future missions.
 

Morocco / Vinohrady University Hospital, Bulovka Hospital - Training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Czech Republic (November 18th - November 29th, 2019)

In the second half of November, 3 Moroccan surgeons arrived in Prague for a two-week educational stay to be trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery. During their stay, they visited the facilities of the Vinohrady UH and the Bulovka Hospital where they learned about the surgical procedures and the treatment methods used in the Czech Republic, with an emphasis on maxillofacial surgery and post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, in which the invited physicians specialise. The visit was the result of a reconnaissance trip to Morocco, which had taken place in July this year, and based on which the CHU Mohammed VI Hospital based in Marrakesh was chosen as the suitable partner for implementation of the Programme’s missions in the following year.
 

Senegal / Motol University Hospital - ENT (November 20th - November 30th, 2019)

Near the end of the year, two medical missions were implemented in the regional hospital in Thiés. A four-member ENT team from the Motol UH performed surgeries concurrently in three operating theatres under the direction of prof. Plzák (each operating theatre was concentrating on a different part of the ENT anatomy) and managed to operate on 56 patients during the eight-day mission.
 

Senegal / Bulovka Hospital - Gynaecology (December 1st - December 7th, 2019)

The mission of gynaecologists from the Bulovka Hospital followed after a mission of the ENT team. The team, headed by the chief physician prof. Zikán, newly focused primarily on onco-gynaecological female patients, which is a very common issue in Senegal. Cancer treatment itself is fairly problematic here because there are no suitable diagnostic methods, and radiotherapy is almost non-existent. It was not until autumn 2019 that chemotherapy started to be partially covered in Senegal and cancer treatment thus became more accessible, at least financially. The team operated 44 female patients and carried out 8 breast biopsies during the five-day mission.
 

Ethiopia, Morocco / Motol University Hospital - Training in Children’s Cardiac Surgery in the Czech Republic (December 2nd - December 13th, 2019)

In early December, we welcomed additional foreign trainees in Prague; this time they were physicians from Ethiopia. During the two weeks they spent at the Children’s Cardiac Centre (DKC) in the Motol UH, they learned about the operations performed by the center, and, most importantly, about the treatment of heart diseases in the youngest patients in the Czech Republic. During the weekend, they were also joined by a cardiac surgeon from Rabat, Morocco, for whom the educational stay was also meant as a source of inspiration for building a similar specialised department in Morocco. Both trips should facilitate future missions of the DKC team to these countries.
 

Ghana / Bulovka Hospital - Gynaecology (December 7th - December 14th, 2019)

Based on the spring reconnaissance mission, a pilot mission of the MEDEVAC Programme to the Tamale Teaching Hospital, which is a referral hospital for the poorer northern region of the country, took place in Ghana in December. The three-person team of gynaecologists from the Bulovka Hospital moved to this hospital from their previous mission in Senegal. At times, the team performed surgeries for 14 hours per day, and consequently completed an unbelievable 47 surgeries during just five days! These involved mostly tumours of various types, uterine prolapses as well as postpartum fistulas, which have been almost eradicated in developed countries thanks to high-quality obstetric care. Thanks to the mission of Czech physicians, high-quality medical care was provided to female patients who would have otherwise been unable to afford it or whose diagnosis required a surgery so complicated and extensive that local physicians would have been unable to perform it. Collaboration with the partner hospital in Tamale will continue next year.

  

Projects aimed at enhancing local health infrastructure

Burkina Faso - Providing Ophthalmological Interventions for Disadvantaged Persons in the Hauts-Bassins Region

In cooperation with the international organization Light for the World, a 5 million project was implemented to provide access to ophthalmological interventions for the socially disadvantaged in the Hauts-Bassins region.
The primary activity of the project is the provision of cataract surgeries, which is one of the most frequent health complications in the region. Other activities will include delivering medical equipment, consumables and the training of local medical staff (physicians and nurses) in diagnostics and ophthalmological care in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sourô Sanou Hospital.
 

Mauritania - Providing Equipment for the Medical Centres in Bassikounou and Néma

In cooperation with the Lutheran World Federation, a project worth 5 million CZK was implemented with focus on supplying equipment to medical centres in Mauritania. The goal of the project is to deliver medical apparatuses and basic consumables and to implement electrification of the two medical centres in Bassikounou and Néma. Both centres provide medical care for approximately 145 thousand people (60 % of whom are women), including 57 thousand people in the Mbera refugee camp. Due to its location, the Mbera camp hosts predominantly refugees from Mali who fled from violence in the region. The project also includes training medical staff in using the new equipment in order to achieve an overall improvement of the standard of care in the region.

  

MEDEVAC in 2020

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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)

  

M I S S I O N S

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.

  

E V A C U A T I O N S

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.

  

MEDEVAC in 2021

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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).

  

M I S S I O N S

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.

  

E V A C U A T I O N

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.

  

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