On March 29 the plane took home a group of Ukrainian medics, 20 men and women who graduated from the first Tactical Combat Casualty Care instructor courses organised by NGO Free Ukraine and Estonian National Defence College. Ten days spent in Tartu, Estonia were filled with intense studies, with some time nipped for sightseeings, visiting museums and Estonian Students Society’s frat house.
The abyss separating Ukrainian medicine from conteporary Estonian counterpart is obvious. A lot of what to us is axiomatic – both in equipment and how procedures are structured – is missing in Ukraine. Training tools like lifelike dummies replicating various injuries where one could exercise life-saving operations, even intravenous injections, left students deeply impressed. As a final touch the last day ended with realistic simulation of casualty care on Afghanistan veteran who has lost his leg to IED explosion acting as a patient, with silicone and makeup used over the stump to mimic lifelike combat wound in the form of traumatic amputation. Students were left speechless – being medics themselves they didn’t have had any idea some of the equimpent they used during training existed, let alone getting their hands on them. The differences between Western and Ukrainian medical capabilities are immense, both in terms of training and instruments.
To make sure fresh skills could be put to best use without delay every graduate also received a backpack full of modern first aid supplies, the same kind of combat medic trauma bag we have shipped to Ukraine 157 already. No less important is the enthusiasm and will to reform Ukrainian medicine to European standards. As instructors they also received basic knowledge of pedagogy in order to be able in turn to convey what they have learned. We believe that little by little, same as in time the water is able to drill a hole into the rock, graduates of this and future courses can make a significant contribution to raising the Ukrainian medicine to modern levels. The ball is rolling, things can only improve from here.
On behalf of NGO Free Ukraine and graduates we would like to express our gratitude to all the donors, your contribution was (and is) what made all this possible. Your support is vital and heartwarming. Your money has been used for the best possible purpose – to save lives. Thank You!