• Yuliia Homonets | Communication Assistant

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, WHO has already recorded 1829 attacks on medical facilities in Ukraine, leaving 7.8 million people in need of medical care. 

As part of an IOM project funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, hospitals in Sumy, Okhtyrka, Dnipro, Lozova and Myrhorod received new equipment and benefited from special training for staff. We have visited some of these hospitals to see the improvements that were made possible through IOM help.  

“This is the largest children's hospital in Sumy region. Its maximum capacity is 370 inpatient beds. Today, we treat 300 children, including many  displaced from border towns and villages of Sumy region, as well as families from Luhansk and Donetsk regions,” says Natalia, head of the Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Department at Sumy Children's Hospital. 

Natalia shows us the new equipment for rehabilitating children with musculoskeletal disorders:  

“The child feels that they are standing, moving or sitting independently. Previously, we tried to solve the problem with functional beds, but it was difficult, impractical and did not achieve the desired result of verticalization, and the child's muscles did not strengthen.” 

Natalia shows the new equipment provided by IOM. Photo: IOM/Yuliia Homonets

On the floor above, there is an occupational therapy room and a sensory therapy room provided by IOM: 

"Our sensory room is large and freely accessible. Those children who stay overnight in the hospital can come here in the evening and play. The room is used for both treatment and entertainment. It is especially useful for children working with a speech therapist: these children are often hyperactive, but after visiting the sensory room they come to the speech therapist calm and able to concentrate,” adds Natalia. 

IOM helped to set up a sensory therapy corner at Sumy Children's Hospital. Photo: IOM / Yuliia Homonets

The war has forced the rapid development of physical medicine and rehabilitation in medical institutions. According to WHO, there are currently 50,000 amputees in Ukraine. Hospitals located close to the front line are among the first to receive such patients and need help upgrading their medical equipment. 

"Our goal is not just to fit a person with a prosthesis, but to do everything possible to prepare them for a long and fulfilling life: to give them the opportunity to hold their child, and not only walk with that child, but also run. To do this, we need to have the most up-to-date information on rehabilitation and the necessary equipment in the department,” says Tetiana, Head of the Medical Rehabilitation Department at Dnipro City Hospital № 16.

Tetiana, Head of the Medical Rehabilitation Department of Dnipro City Hospital №16, shows IOM staff the renovated rehabilitation rooms. Photo: Anastasiia Rudneva/IOM

In Dnipro City Hospital №16, IOM set up two physical rehabilitation rooms and organized training for doctors through its partner, the charitable foundation “Patients of Ukraine.”

Patients of the rehabilitation department of Okhtyrka Central District Hospital are mostly people with war-related injuries, people with prosthetics, as well as stroke survivors. IOM helped the department to purchase special equipment and train doctors and physical therapists on how to use it. 

The equipment IOM helped purchase for the rehabilitation department of the Okhtyrka Central District Hospital. Photo: IOM / Yuliia Homonets

Tetiana, who has been working at the hospital for 10 years, shows us the ceiling-mounted workstation:   

"We use this workstation every day. Each patient can come every other day and work on weak spots, these are mostly orthopedic patients."

Tetiana shows how the workstation for neuromuscular recovery works. Photo: IOM / Yuliia Homonets

Olena, an occupational therapist in the rehabilitation department of Okhtyrka Central District Hospital, showed us a room equipped with devices to restore patients’ social, household and motor skills. IOM helped the department to purchase special dining sets, fixation, gripping and moving devices, irons and more. 

“All the things you see here facilitate rehabilitation and help patients relearn how to do everyday activities on their own,” Olena says. 

Olena explains how items for patients undergoing rehabilitation function. Photo: IOM / Yuliia Homonets

As part of the project, doctors and physical therapists from Okhtyrka Central District Hospital also attended a special training in Lviv, organized by IOM's partner, the “Patients of Ukraine” Charitable Foundation, where they improved their skills and learned how to use the new equipment.   

IOM is committed to strengthening medical rehabilitation systems and responding to urgent healthcare needs of those most affected by the war in Ukraine. From helping amputees regain mobility to assisting stroke survivors and orthopedic patients, IOM, with support of Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, will continue to ensure access to comprehensive healthcare services of everyone in Ukraine.

SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
SDG 16 - Peace Justice and Strong Institutions
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals