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Estonia funding post-amputation rehab courses for Ukrainian healthcare workers

Ukrainian healthcare workers from hospitals in Kyiv and Zhytomyr at Tallinn Health Care College.
Ukrainian healthcare workers from hospitals in Kyiv and Zhytomyr at Tallinn Health Care College. Source: Tanel Murre/ Tallinn Health Care College

Estonia is providing training courses to help Ukrainian healthcare professionals develop their post-amputation rehabilitation skills and knowledge.

Twenty specialists from hospitals in Kyiv and Zhytomyr took part in the first course, which ended last week, in Tallinn. The training is designed to cover the principles and possibilities of modern rehabilitation.

Between 25,000-50,000 people in Ukraine have lost a limb as a result of Russia's war. The proportion of civilians is very high, as Ukraine is now one of the most mined countries in the world.

This is why increasing the availability and quality of rehabilitation programs in Ukraine is a priority, the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV) said.

"No country is ready to deal with such big social and health care challenges alone. In Ukraine, there is a lack of rehabilitation centers and qualified specialists to provide both physical and psychological help to amputees," said Margus Gering, head of the Ukrainian Cooperation and Development Programme at ESTDEV.

Rehabilitation teams from eight Ukrainian hospitals, including doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, prosthetists, psychiatrists, and psychologists participated in the first course.

"The rehabilitation process starts even before the prosthesis is placed. When a person loses a leg, they are in shock, and that kind of grief needs to be overcome. Therefore, we must involve specialists from a wide range of specialties, including mental health specialists and caregivers, to help patients get back to a productive life," said Kaupo Ole, the head of the rehabilitation clinic at West Tallinn Central Hospital, in an interview with ERR.

As part of the two-week program, the healthcare workers underwent theoretical training at Tallinn Health Care College, received practical training at the Northern Estonian Regional Hospital and East Tallinn Central Hospital, and made study visits to Tartu University Clinic and Pärnu Hospital.

In total, 40 medical professionals will undergo training in Estonia by the end of the year.

The project has three main goals: provide training focused on the rehabilitation of amputated lower limbs, create a modern rehabilitation center in Ukraine, and the development of rehabilitation study programs for Ukrainian universities.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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