The harsh realities of war, unfortunately, pose new challenges and tasks for Ukraine as the number of wounded defenders of the state increases. From the front line, they are transported to staging areas, and from there to military hospitals and civilian clinics. What comes next after treatment?
THOUSANDS OF SOLDIERS NEED REHABILITATION
Many of those who have been discharged after treatment are in desperate need of rehabilitation - not only physical, but primarily psychological. It's a shame, but often a person who has been through combat, face to face with danger and death, suffers from mental health problems. Thousands of civilian Ukrainians who have suffered from enemy shelling also need to restore their psychological health.
The military say that after being discharged from the hospital, some of them suddenly wake up in the middle of the night "under fire" and look for a helmet, some of them experience severe discomfort in crowded public places because they feel strangers behind them, and so on. That is why rehabilitation is needed to restore mental health. It is important that the process of such recovery takes place in a timely, professional manner, according to appropriate protocols.
In Ukraine, according to the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU), 262 institutions provide inpatient rehabilitation, with more than 127,000 patients using their services since the beginning of the year.
But in the context of a full-scale war, this is not enough, and the need is much greater, according to the "Help For Ukraine" Charitable Foundation. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression, one of the Foundation's priorities has been to provide medical equipment to the front line, hospitals and clinics.
"Our daily communication with the military shows that there are not enough quality programs and specialized well-equipped clinics for the full rehabilitation of the wounded, soldiers who returned from captivity, and civilians affected by Russian missiles. Rehabilitation is often referred to as a certain list of medical procedures in ordinary city hospitals that do not have specialists or equipment, and the process itself does not follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health," said Stepan Aslanian, President of the "Help For Ukraine" Foundation.
According to him, having gained some experience in Kyiv, where a 22-bed psychological rehabilitation unit was organized, the foundation decided to create a rehabilitation center at the Morshynsky sanatorium in the resort town of Morshyn, Lviv region.
"MORSHYNSKY" SANATORIUM WAS NOT CHOSEN BY CHANCE
The sanatorium and the town of Morshyn were chosen for a reason. After all, Morshyn is a very famous balneological resort in Ukraine, located among the Carpathian protected forests with convenient logistics. Thanks to the healing mineral springs and the work of research doctors, the town has become a real Carpathian gem. The Berezhnytsia River flows in Morshyn, and the Vidernytsia River originates on the southeastern outskirts of the city. The nature here is fabulous, and even the scenery is healing.
The sanatorium occupies eight hectares and has its own beautiful park with centuries-old coniferous trees. This healthcare facility is 75 years old and used to be a sanatorium of the Ministry of Defense.
Speaking about the sanatorium's capabilities and current challenges, its director Viktor Bezrukov emphasized that Morshynsky is a fully state-owned enterprise with a strong team of medical professionals with many years of experience.
"There are 19 qualified doctors of various specializations working here, and the sanatorium itself has 300 beds. There are four dormitory buildings on the territory. The main building has seven floors, with all medical procedures, physiotherapy, a pump room, and a bathroom on the ground floor. Each floor has a doctor's and masseur's office for the convenience of patients. There is also a diagnostic department where modern clinical, biochemical, immunological and instrumental research methods are used," says the head of the sanatorium. He added that mineral coniferous, pearl, iodine-bromine, and mineral baths with rosemary are used for treatment. Water procedures such as circular, underwater, laser and Charcot showers are widely used. There is also a large gym, an outdoor sports ground and a terrencourt for dosed physical activity in the form of walking on designated routes.
ESTABLISHMENT OF A REHABILITATION CENTER
It is thanks to these advantages that the "Help For Ukraine" charitable foundation has launched its project to create a rehabilitation center at the "Morshynsky" sanatorium. According to the memorandum of cooperation, the sanatorium provided the entire third floor of the central building, which houses 26 wards, for the new rehabilitation department.
"The sanatorium has received all the necessary documents authorizing rehabilitation. We have a rehabilitation therapist on staff, who develops individual rehabilitation programs for patients and monitors their implementation, adjusting them as necessary. We have provided for the necessary specialists among our medical staff," explained Viktor Andriyovych.
Representatives of the foundation say that the architects have already prepared a design of the wards in accordance with the standards of the rehabilitation department. According to Stepan Aslanian, President of the "Help For Ukraine" Charitable Foundation, the cost of renovating one ward starts at UAH 52,000. The project estimate is calculated specifically to meet the needs of a certain category of patients: there will be a floor with a special anti-slip coating, proper lighting, a functional bed, and doors to move people in wheelchairs to the balcony. Additionally, funds have been allocated to repair a bathroom for people with disabilities, doctors' offices, treatment rooms, and a hall. In total, according to Stepan Aslanian, more than UAH 3 million is needed to reconstruct the center's premises, and the foundation is still in the process of attracting benefactors to support this initiative.
HELP FROM PARTNERS
The director of the "Morshynsky" sanatorium emphasizes that the "Help For Ukraine" Foundation has been helping their medical facility for a long time and has already taken certain steps to equip the future rehabilitation center. With the help of partner donors, humanitarian goods have been delivered to the sanatorium in three stages since February this year: "Citroen" cars for patient transportation, functional medical beds with remote control, mattresses, four-wheeled "Walkers", wheelchairs, crutches, shower chairs, orthopedic sneakers, wardrobes, bins, medical chairs, bedside tables and exercise equipment.
The foundation noted that all this is thanks to German partners from NOTRUF UKRAINE, the international foundation "Nova Ukraine" and the "OKKO" gas station chain, as well as the permanent partner, "Nova Poshta", on the initiative of "Nova Poshta Humanitarian". The volunteers express their special gratitude to Oksana Ulan, head of the German charitable foundation "Medical e.V." The "AGROMAT" industrial and technical company and the "We Are Family" charitable foundation have also joined the project.
The funds raised from the benefactors will be used to complete the repairs in full.
The medical facility will accept the wounded for rehabilitation according to the sanatorium's capacity; the rehabilitation program will last at least 21 days. The length of stay will be determined by the severity of the rehabilitated patients' condition, namely their physical and psycho-emotional state.
As of today, soldiers with severe injuries and amputated limbs are already undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the sanatorium. And their feedback is very positive. The need for rehabilitation of such soldiers is constant, as the sanatorium often receives calls from social security departments of various regions and district councils asking if they are accepted for rehabilitation, the head of "Morshynsky" notes.
"Now there is a soldier, Pavlo, from Zaporizhzhia, who came to the sanatorium without an arm, who is being rehabilitated. He will be fitted with a stump for a prosthesis, so the rehabilitation is long and aimed at adaptation," says Viktor Bezrukov. "So far, the sanatorium is waiting for another soldier from Odesa. He has two legs shot through. He underwent surgery in Odesa, and we were contacted by surgeons from Odesa. He can already get up, but he needs to rest a bit, drink some medicinal water, and unload his liver, because he took a lot of medication. In general, he needs to adapt to civilian life. There is a beautiful park here where you can be with nature, which heals."
The director also reminded that a soldier from the "Azov" Brigade had recently recovered from shell shock at the sanatorium.
The "Help For Ukraine" Foundation calls on everyone who wants to bring Ukraine's victory closer to join the cause of rehabilitating the military and all those who have suffered psychological trauma as a result of the war. Help is possible not only with money, but also with building materials for repairs - cement, paint, tiles, linoleum, etc. Therefore, the foundation is open for cooperation with partners, donors and all caring people who, together with it, "can create a miracle" for the defenders of Ukraine.
Olena Kolhusheva, Morshyn