December 6, 2023, 13:07

Problems of rehabilitation of war victims: Odesa needs a large center

During a briefing at the Ukraine-Odesa Media Center, representatives of the public and relevant organizations discussed the problems of rehabilitation of victims of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“We will organize our efforts in three directions. The first is the organization of rehabilitation in healthcare facilities, both private and state-owned. Secondly, training of personnel. This is a challenging moment because the rehabilitation system is currently undergoing reform. New specialties have emerged, and both doctors and other specialists are being trained. The third point is the organization of a barrier-free environment on the basis of inclusion. We need to understand that the number of people with disabilities is still high. And it will continue to grow,” said Olha Yushkovska, MD, PhD, Head of the Department of Sports Medicine, Physical Rehabilitation and Physical Education at ONMedU, President of the NGO Rehabilitation Management Association.

The professor noted that Odesa Medical University is intensively preparing personnel for rehabilitation, and her NGO is ready to help create a new center for the rehabilitation of victims of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Oleh Sokolov, representative of the Government Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Odesa Regional State Administration, said that Odesa lacks a large barrier-free space, which is available in Western countries:

“I work with the disabled, I train them. When we were at the Invictus Games, we saw how accessible and barrier-free everything was: from ramps to Braille for the blind. We need such a center with everything: a barrier-free environment, doctors, equipment, psychologists, sports grounds and swimming pools – everything that those returning from war with undermined health need,” Sokolov emphasized.

Oleksandr Selezniov, CEO of Prostranstvo Group, said that before the war, their company’s residential complexes had medical centers and gyms and playgrounds. So with the start of the full-scale invasion, they were able to rebuild them for the rehabilitation of military personnel.

“We are currently negotiating with two sports clubs that can also accept veterans for rehabilitation. We are interested in psychological and social rehabilitation. It is important that people return to normal life. That’s why we communicate with large HR companies that will help our rehabilitated soldiers find a job. Not everyone returns to the army after being seriously injured. Our Promed center provides medical and psychological rehabilitation. It is free of charge. We don’t have a hospital yet, but we will expand and continue to help Ukrainian soldiers,” said Aleksandr Seleznyov.

Mykola Storozhuk, head of the sector of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine in Odesa region, said that he is also actively involved in this issue and insists on the creation of a single veterans’ center.

“It should be a separate large building. A large location where our military personnel and their families can undergo rehabilitation. Because we don’t even have a ‘Vietnam’ or ‘Afghanistan’ syndrome, we have much more consequences of this war. That is why we are working together to create such a center. We need a separate package of rehabilitation services from the state. We need sponsors and patrons. All of us should not put off the problem, but solve it together,” summarized Mykola Storozhuk.

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