Trainers and Ukrainian surgeons

Between 13 and 19 May 2012 surgeons from The Department of General and Vascular Surgery at Ceynowa Hospital in Wejherowo, Poland took part in a humanitarian mission and travelled to Mikulov in Ukraine to teach modern techniques of Hernia Surgery. The Polish team was represented by Maciej Śmietański, Andrzeej Lehmann and Grzegorz Zając (responsible for the mission logistics). Due to the poor economic conditions in Ukraine and lack of adequate universal healthcare systems (procedures are not reimbursed, patient are required to pay all procedural costs directly to the hospital; including meshes, sutures etc.) we concentrated our activities on teaching. The possibilities of learning and observing advanced techniques in Ukraine is not widely available, and the supply of prosthetic meshes and laparoscopic equipment is very limited.

Our hosts decided not only to provide the opportunity operate on their patients, but also to open this activity to the community of surgeons using a live transmission and also preparing a lecture room for surgeons to attend and take part in discussions. Preparation of this event (as we have mentioned) was difficult, but ultimately extraordinarily excellent. The team from the hospital in Mikulov have done a perfect job preparing the facility and eventually to be ready for 20 operations in two days. Over 120 surgeons from Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova attended the workshop. We also had the pleasure of having the expert assistance of Professor Yaroslav Feleshtinsky (from Kiev) and Professor Tamaz Gvetenadze (from Tbilisi, Georgia) in conducting the lectures and working in operating theatre.

It must be mentioned that the mission was possible due to extraordinary activity of Dr Orest Lerchuk from Lviv and the local J&J representative Roman Salamakcha – our close friends. We know that the partnership and cooperation will be continue in the future. As a result of the mission we have established a grant to host two Ukrainian surgeons a year in Poland for one month of training. (funded by donations from the surgeons working in our hospital).

We look forward for future activities .

Maciej Smietanski