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Almost One Thousand Doctors Participated in the Third Online Conference of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation


The Rinat Akhmetov Foundation, together with the Ministry of Health and the Association of Anaesthesiologists of Ukraine, held the third online conference for doctors fighting the coronavirus epidemic. Almost one thousand doctors from all over Ukraine gathered to discuss the conference’s topic – “COVID-19: What Has Changed Over the Year”.

'Rinat Akhmetov allocated more than UAH 300 million to help the country in the fight against COVID-19. Resources of the Charitable Foundation, FC Shakhtar and other SCM assets were pooled together for efficient performance. Online conferences are part of the Foundation's large-scale project Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine. Within its framework, public hub hospitals in all regions received 155 oxygen concentrators, 337,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, more than 200,000 units of personal protective equipment and consumables. Access to stationary and mobile oxygen sources was provided for 633 hospital beds in the regions. The key element of the Foundation's assistance was the delivery of 205 lung ventilators. This is the largest supply of such equipment in Ukraine amid the pandemic. In total, 505 healthcare facilities in 203 populated areas received assistance from the Foundation. This is the largest, most systematic and broadest scale private initiative aimed at helping public healthcare facilities in the fight against the coronavirus,’ said Yuliia Yershova, Chief Communications Officer of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.

The online conference was opened by the Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov. In his video message, he thanked doctors for their dedicated work and highlighted the importance of the conference.

‘Congratulations on the opening of the third online conference for doctors. Ukraine is fighting the coronavirus epidemic like the rest of the world. However, over the past year, our healthcare system in fact revived from the ashes. Today we are much stronger. More than 500 hospitals have been repurposed to fight COVID. The laboratory capacity has increased 400-fold – up to 80,000 tests daily. Ukraine shows one of the best indicators in Europe in the fight against the disease and ranks 36th in terms of mortality rates. Behind this figure are thousands of saved lives of Ukrainian citizens. However, the fight continues, and we must meet the third wave of the pandemic being prepared as much as possible. That is why such meetings as today’s one are extremely important. This is an opportunity for direct communication, exchange of ideas and personal experiences. Prompt solution of tactical tasks shapes up the strategy for future victory,’ said Maksym Stepanov.

He also urged doctors to get vaccinated in order to be able to protect the Ukrainian people.

The key experts of this conference were such well-known professionals as Serhiy Dubrov, the President of the Association of Anaesthesiologists of Ukraine, Serhiy Kramarev, the Head of the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases of Bogomolets National Medical University, Svitlana Huk, the Head of the Centre for Respiratory Medicine and Allergology at Feofaniya Clinical Hospital, and Maksym Pylypenko, the Head of the Department of Anaesthesiology at Romodanov Neurosurgery Institute.

As Serhiy Dubrov, the President of the Association of Anaesthesiologists, explained, the third wave of the coronavirus had not yet come to Ukraine, but that was not a reason for optimism.

‘I still believe that we have the second wave. When we look at the disease incidence trends, a long rise was recorded from the middle of last year to December 2020. In January, we had an opportunity to relax a bit, when daily numbers of new cases of the disease were 2,000-3,000. It seemed that we could breathe a sigh of relief, but the current situation in the country is very severe and challenging. In many regions, hospital beds for infected people are 90-100% occupied. The problem has not been solved and it is necessary to look for ways to solve it. I hope that today's event will enable healthcare specialists to offer even better treatment to our patients,’ stressed Serhiy Dubrov.

In turn, Svitlana Huk, the Head of the Centre for Respiratory Medicine and Allergology at Feofaniya Clinical Hospital, added that Ukrainian doctors remain in a difficult situation.

‘On the one hand, it has become a little easier in terms of treating patients. We "got acquainted" with the disease and began to better understand how to behave in a particular situation. However, even the world science still says some contradictory things about both individual molecules and methods of treating the coronavirus. The number of patients is shocking, and there remains a feeling of uncertainty that we are not 100% armed,’ said Svitlana Huk.

According to Serhiy Kramarev, the Head of the Department of Paediatric Infectious Diseases of Bogomolets National Medical University, Ukrainian doctors have learned a lot over the past year.

‘One might say that we have ceased to be afraid of this infection. I think that there are prospects for fighting it and the laws of epidemiology will win. Any infection comes to an end.’

The conference participants paid special attention to improving the skills of COVID-19 therapy and increasing the level of knowledge about the operation of lung ventilators. In addition, they discussed some issues that are of major concern and of major interest for Ukrainian doctors today. Among them are oxygen therapy against COVID-19 and early rehabilitation of patients with severe respiratory failure resulting from the coronavirus infection. Other topics that doctors discussed were about post-COVID syndrome and vaccination against COVID-19.

Another discussion panel at the conference was the treatment of coronavirus in children. The experts spoke about the latest achievements and experience in monitoring the course of the disease in children and adolescents.

Earlier, in May and October 2020, the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation implemented a training initiative for doctors within the framework of the project Fighting COVID-19 in Ukraine. At two three-hours online conferences, leading experts of the Ministry of Health shared with anaesthesiologists and personnel of intensive care units at regional public hub hospitals world’s best practices in the treatment of COVID-19 and some finer points in operating the latest lung ventilator models that were delivered to public clinics. At that time, more than 2,000 Ukrainian doctors took part in the two online workshops from the Foundation.