Estonia has sent a second military field hospital to Ukraine, part of a broader package of support provided to that country since the large-scale invasion by Russian forces began in February.
The project was overseen by the Estonian Center for Defense Investment (RKK) and is being provided in cooperation with Germany,
Kadi-Kai Kollo, project managing the field hospital, said that: "A trained team can set up a hospital in around one hour, with the speed of set-up providing the crucial mobility essential for redeploying medical assistance in a military conflict.
"Given that, according to various figures, around 950 medical facilities have been destroyed in Ukraine, such assistance is urgently needed," Kollo went on, via a Ministry of Defense press release, adding that the containers to be used in the transport match the dimensions of a conventional standard sea container (Spec: ISO 1CC 20'').
Meanwhile, Estonian Defense Forces (EDF) Lt Col. Ahti Varblane, Chief Medical Officer of the War and Disaster Medical Center, said that the experience of a field hospital sent to Ukraine earlier in the conflict has confirmed that the basic concept of the developments lies on the right track, especially in terms of mobility, modularity and the management system.
Another factor is the need to properly conceal field hospitals, given reports of atrocities whereby the international symbol of the Red Cross seems to be ignored by invading forces.
Lt Col. Varblane said: "The system of camouflage measures certainly needs to be improved, as the conflict in Ukraine is yet another confirmation that Russia does not follow the Geneva Convention. The discovery of medical units turns them into valuable targets for the other side."
The field hospital employs around 15 people under normal circumstances and, for example, during exercises, it its able to cater to around 60 people a day.
Kadi-Kai Kollo said: "The field hospital is staffed only by Ukrainian army medics. To date, statistics from the first field hospital donated to Ukraine show that nearly 2,000 people with varying degrees of injury have already been provided with assistance. This shows how much help the field hospital provides, also confirming that we are doing the right thing."
The donations represent half the EDF's existing field hospital capacity
The field hospital consists of eight special-function medical containers and three tents, with an operating module, an emergency care module, an intensive care module, an intermediate module (incorporating a laboratory container, a diagnostic container and a triage tent), a medical storage room, a sterilization module and a resource module.
Additionally, four modular tents and a sanitary component, with showers, toilets, and washing machines with dryers, are to be donated to Ukraine.
The size of the hospital in its operational stage is approximately 425 sq. m.
Eight trucks and two trailers are additionally being donated to Ukraine for the transport of hospital modules, for the purchase of which the RKK partnered with private sector firm KB Auto OÜ.
The first leg of the field hospital donated by Estonia to Ukraine in March will be replaced by the new delivery, the X is overseeing the procurement proceedings, aided with a donation from the German Federal Ministry of Defense of close to €7.7 million
Non-profit organization Slava Ukraini also granted €120,000 from donations it has received from the public in Estonia, also for the purpose.
"We are delighted that, in partnership with larger states, a second field hospital has arrived in Ukraine. Our aim is to support frontline medics in their work, which we will certainly continue to do in the future as well," said Johanna-Maria Lehme, CEO of Slava Ukraini.
The field hospital was manufactured by public limited company Semetron, who, in cooperation with volunteers, helped the RKK to deliver the field hospital to Ukraine.
Additionally, in cooperation with Semetron, the field hospital has been adapted to Ukrainian conditions and climate
Minister of Defense Hanno Pevkur (Reform) was in Kyiv on an official visit earlier in the week, when he met with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and noted that Estonia is in the process of putting together its next aid package for Ukraine.
Estonia has provided US$250m in aid to Ukraine so far (January 24 to August 3) more than several much larger EU nations, including France, and amounting to close to 1 percent of GDP.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Ministry of Defense