A delegation of volunteer Italian doctors visited Ukraine from Oct. 8 for 10 days to help Ukrainian surgeons in the operating room. On Oct. 9, they arrived in Kyiv to work at the Shalimov National Hospital.

The group consisted of three doctors: Mauro Migliore, anesthesiologist and resuscitator; Andrea Gasperini, neurosurgical and vascular instrument specialist; and Angela Levorato, emergency surgery instrument specialist.

All three work at the Angel’s Hospital in Mestre, near Venice, and asked their general director for leave to go to Ukraine, where they went for the first time. As volunteers, the three doctors used their vacation to come to Ukraine and the trip was at their expense.

They are part of the International Rescue Program group, which brings together Italian and foreign doctors and volunteers to organize medical missions in Ukraine and stimulate donations of equipment for hospitals. Thanks to the support of this group, Mauro Migliore had already organized with Andrea Gasperini a shipment of pediatric material from Padua to Lviv in February 2023.

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On this mission they were accompanied by the Italian war reporter Claudio Locatelli, who first took them from Kyiv to the suburbs of Bucha and Irpin, to show them the aftermath of the Battle for Kyiv, during which Russian occupiers killed hundreds of civilians.

In Kyiv they visited the Shalimov Hospital National Institute of Surgery and Transplantology, where they participated in a surgical operation, under the supervision of surgeon Oleksii Voroniak. The operation was carried out on a soldier who had seriously injured his arm at the Kupyansk front, in the Kharkiv region. The video of this operation (viewer discretion is advised) can be seen on Claudio Locatelli’s Facebook page.

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The Ukrainian staff welcomed the Italian doctors with enthusiasm. The director of the hospital, Oleksandr Usenko thanked the Italian volunteer doctors, and the deputy director Ruslan Salutin recognized them by donating a commemorative hryvnia (the Ukrainian currency) and the official pin of the hospital.

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During their stay in Kyiv, the delegation was received in the Italian embassy by the Consul Federico Nicolaci who congratulated them and committed to sending a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome.

After Kyiv, the group of Venetian doctors went to Lviv, to the Municipal Territorial Medical Union Multidisciplinary Clinical Hospital of Emergency and Intensive Care, where thanks to the general director Oleg Samchuk they were again in the operating room with a team of international doctors for some pediatric surgical procedures. This collaboration with the Lviv hospital was possible thanks to the commitment of Ukrainian doctors Nataliya Matolinets and Kristina Orlinska.

This first mission by the Italian doctors also had the aim of raising interest and humanitarian support for Ukraine, with the hope that this initiative will pave the way for further medical missions.

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