Syrian doctors help Ukrainians prepare for chemical attack

ONE a few days later russian Invasion of Ukraine, I received an unusual note on Twitter. A Syrian man introduces himself as Mustafa Kayyali.

“We are a group of doctors with expertise in medicine, trauma and war,” Mustafa writes. “We have suffered from aggression by Russian forces for the past eight years, and we have trained people on how to respond to emergencies and how to save their lives. We want to help Ukraine and its people.” He made it clear that Syrian doctors have special experience in treating victims of chemical weapons attacks. Chemical weapons have been used repeatedly by dictator Bashar al-Assad’s army and Russian forces backing him against civilians in Syria.

I have forwarded Mustafa’s messages to my contacts. Two weeks later, I was informed that the first training course of Syrian doctors for Ukrainian doctors was underway. Much more followed, and as of now, thousands of Ukrainian doctors have been trained by Syrian medical professionals in how to deal with patients affected by the use of chemical weapons and biological. The training sessions were conducted by Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Alhaji, a specialist in general surgery. He is the president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, which was established in 2011 after the start of the war in Syria to provide medical training to local doctors and civilians. It currently runs programs in health, nursing, and physical therapy.

“When the Syrian regime attacked our population, we suffered from medical staff cuts. Many doctors have been captured, killed or fled Syria. We founded our Academy with short courses of 15 days, to provide training in first response to trauma. Dr. Alhaji explained: “There were no previous medics or emergency specialists in Syria. “Over time, Assad’s war machine became more aggressive – more bombings, more shells, more missiles. The more war goes on, the more things we do. The Syrian people are suffering the consequences of the use of chemical weapons. So we coached our students and taught them how to treat different types of injuries.”

The academy had to be moved several times because its facilities were destroyed by Russian air strikes. It settled in Idlib, an area near the Turkish border, which is currently under the control of opposition forces. “For several months we have been monitoring the situation in Ukraine and we thought we should help the doctors there,” said Mustafa Kayyali, vice president at the Academy of Medical Sciences. “Many of my colleagues have studied in Ukraine, worked there, and we know that it is a loving country.”

He continued, “We are happy to help, because the people of Syria and Ukraine are fighting against the same enemy.”

It was the experience of Syrian doctors with patients affected by chemical weapons that attracted the attention of Ukrainian doctors. Equal NATO and US warn that Russia could use such banned weapons in Ukraine, it is increasingly urgent to prepare.

Mladena Kachurets, former Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine and director of the ministry, said: “When Russia started bombing civilians and residential areas in Ukraine, we lost all illusion that it would stop and act. within the framework of international humanitarian law. personnel development and education at Dobrobut, one of the largest private clinics in Kyiv. She immediately responded to the idea of ​​the Syrian doctors. “We understood that we had to prepare for the worst, that we had to be ready and couldn’t ignore the threat of chemical weapons attacks,” Kachurets said. After a successful presentation that brought together a small number of Ukrainian and Syrian doctors by video link, four online lectures were scheduled, open to all medical staff in Ukraine. The first two took place ten days ago.

“There is a huge interest in these lectures, both from doctors and nurses. We advertised the training sessions on social media and over 13,000 people expressed their interest. Medical workers from all parts of Ukraine, including medical staff from hospitals in war-torn areas, joined them online,” Kachurets said.

Read more: What will happen for Ukraine to win the war?

“We posted recordings on Facebook and YouTube so those who can’t attend in person can watch them later. We are currently working on a Ukrainian translation to make sure every doctor and nurse in Ukraine can access the lectures.” As of now, the recordings have been viewed more than 30,000 times. Much more is planned, including lectures aimed at the Ukrainian public.

Yuliya Shuklina, MD, chief of otolaryngology at a major hospital in Kyiv, has lived with hundreds of colleagues on her hospital campus since Russia invaded Ukraine, working day and night to cure it. for the injured and the chronically ill. diseases.

“War has changed us all,” Dr. Shuklina said, speaking over a short phone call between treating the patient and before the alarm went off, announcing an air strike in the area. Kyiv, interrupt our conversation. “In the early days of the war, I was very confused. I have 26 years of experience as an ENT surgeon, but I’ve never dealt with triage and treatment of combat injuries. We are studying and watching a lot of lectures these days”.

“I studied how to respond to a chemical weapons attack at university, but I forgot about it because I never thought I would have to apply it,” she said. “At the meeting with the Syrian doctors, I learned how to determine what poison was used and how to provide appropriate support. This is very different from normal trauma, where you can determine the impact with the naked eye. For the victims of a chemical weapons attack, you cannot judge the damage with the naked eye.”

“We really appreciate the Syrian doctors sharing their first experience. I no longer panic when I hear about the possibility of a chemical weapons attack. I have an algorithm on how to act. Now I know I won’t be embarrassed, I won’t be a burden and will be able to help,” said Dr. Shuklina. “However, I expect this knowledge to be only theoretical.”

After the treatment sessions, Dr. Shuklina went to the hospital management asking them to order an antidote, which can vary depending on the type of weapon used. “There is a lot of humanitarian assistance, including medicine, being delivered to Ukraine these days,” said Kachurets, a former Deputy Health Minister. “But our doctors are focused on what they need to treat the injured, those with multiple trauma, shrapnel wounds, broken limbs. In their list of essentials, I don’t see any personal protective equipment to prepare for chemical attacks. I think it should be added to the supply list, and stockpiles of antidotes for different poisons have to be created first. ”

For her part, Kayyali hopes to hold some live lectures for Ukrainian doctors in the future. “If there is a safe location somewhere in Ukraine, we would be happy to go there and do a face-to-face meeting,” he said. In the meantime, he has a message for his Ukrainian colleagues: stay strong and train more people to deliver medical aid.

“War can last, for many years, we Syrians know it. For that reason, you need to train more people, including the general public. “People have to be trained to treat people affected by chemical weapons and even nuclear weapons,” says Kayyali. “You’re dealing with crime and you can expect anything to happen.”

Other must-read stories from TIME

Contact us in

Source link


News5s: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button