Ukrainian Mission of Ihor Vitenko donates ambulances to save our defenders

2023-10-27 14:58:08

Five ambulances will help save the lives and health of our soldiers. The transfer of the vehicles to the Armed Forces of Ukraine is another effort within the framework of the social project called "Ukrainian Mission of Ihor Vitenko", involving the Belgian volunteer community led by Count Renaud de Kerchove. Organizational support was provided by the NGO Environmental Safety Council and the Ukrainian Peace Council. The ceremony took place at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (KPI), on the square near the monument to Igor Sikorsky.



It is worth noting that this is the second time that ambulances have been donated at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute; an earlier donation of four ambulances occurred on May 5. The humanitarian mission carried out in Ukraine by the renowned doctor and public figure, Ihor Vitenko, is actually remarkable. This was emphasized by Mykhailo Zgurovsky, Head of the Ukrainian Peace Council and Rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, in his speech on behalf of the Ukrainian Peace Council expressing gratitude to Belgium for the benevolent assistance.

Ihor Vitenko is a Ukrainian residing in Belgium for over two decades, a doctor by profession, and one of the few experts in wound care, officially recognized in Belgium. He practices at the Jan Palfijn Hospital in Ghent.

Following the events of February 24, 2022, Ihor Vitenko immediately arrived in Ukraine, where he operated on several hundred wounded soldiers in difficult conditions, at times without anesthesia, significantly reducing the number of amputations. In addition, he trained more than 150 doctors and nurses, teaching them new methods of wound treatment so that they could disseminate this knowledge throughout Ukraine.

Ihor Vitenko has also launched a substantial social project. The amount of assistance provided with Mr. Vitenko's participation is estimated at a total of some 3.5 million euros. And these figures include 58 trucks stocked with medical supplies, 73 ambulances designed for the Armed Forces, ultrasound equipment, X-ray and hemodialysis machines, medical beds, wheelchairs and other vital medical resources.

Thanks to this assistance, a fully equipped hemodialysis unit was established at the Kherson city hospital, and hemodialysis rooms opened at rehabilitation centers across the city. Several rehabilitation centers have been established. According to Anatoliy Butenko, advisor to the local garrison commander, 6,000 soldiers have already undergone rehabilitation at one of these centers in Kharkiv.

"At the beginning of the full-scale invasion, I defined the rapid evacuation of the wounded as one of the Mission's priorities," said Ihor Vitenko. "Hundreds of Belgians, including my medical colleagues, contributed to this mission through their donations.”

Seven Belgian citizens, who contributed to the purchase of the ambulances, also attended the ceremony for the transfer of the vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They visited Ukraine as members of the delegation of the International NGO Environmental Safety Council in the Kingdom of Belgium, led by Count Renaud de Kerchove. Addressing the audience, Count Renaud de Kerchove expressed support on behalf of the Belgians for the Ukrainian people defending the freedom and independence of their country.

Ihor Vitenko, also the representative of the NGO Environmental Safety Council in the Kingdom of Belgium, echoed the sentiment excitedly: "Belgium is a small country, but it has a big heart."




After handing over the keys and documents for the ambulances to servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Mykhailo Zgurovsky announced the decision of the Presidium of the Ukrainian Peace Council (UPC) to bestow the UPC Honorary Award on Igor Vitenko – ‘Order of Peace’ First Class and the Certificate of UPC Honorary Award – "for his weighty personal contribution to peacemaking, humanism and justice, intense public activity dedicated to the struggle for Ukraine's sovereignty, patriotism, high professionalism and loyalty to the Motherland."

Ihor Vitenko assured that he plans to persist with his mission after the war is over. In particular, he intends to contribute to raising the medical industry in Ukraine to a new level.



"We collaborate closely with research institutions and universities," said Mr. Vitenko, "Ukrainians have learned a lot. The war has provided us with a wide experience in terms of training, experimentation, and the application of cutting-edge technologies. Frankly, rehabilitation in Ukraine is two heads and shoulders above that in Belgium today. Europeans also have much to learn from Ukrainians."

After the ceremony for the transfer of the ambulances, Ihor Vitenko participated in the Biomedical Engineering and Human Health section within the framework of the 12th International Festival of Innovative Projects, known as ‘Sikorsky Challenge 2023’.


Dmytro Shulikin