Sussex surgeon launches project to save lives in Ukraine
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Surgeon Gianluca Colucci works at Worthing Hospital and is a senior lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Since the full scale invasion of Ukraine began, Gianluca has been working with charity SmartMedicalAid, delivering teaching, training, medical supplies, ambulances, medical evacuations and many more activities in the war-torn country.
One of the lifesaving projects involved creating 10 medical imaging phantoms, which are objects as stand-ins for human tissues to ensure that systems and methods for imaging the human body are operating correctly.
He then took the models with him and trained Ukrainian medics in Kharkiv, who use the surgical techniques to save lives of wounded soldiers in battle.
While most of the charity resources are deployed to support the war victims, there are other unmet medical needs which are non-war related - and this is what Gianluca now wants to address.
He said: “We have to try and look at other areas of medicine of treatment that are not being met because of the war. And create a little bit of normality away from the war - hard as that can be.”
This is where ‘Project IOLE’ (Improving Outcomes in Laparoscopy By Education) comes in, which will seek to establish a formal teaching program to support the development of laparoscopic surgery in Ukraine.
To help Gianluca with project IOLE, you can donate to the fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/page/gianluca-colucci-1687531378457
Gianluca added: “We aim to support civilian needs and try to bring a bit of normality to the doctors who have been overwhelmed by the needs brought by the war, and the added element of helping in developing keyhole surgery in the Ukraine.
“Laparoscopic surgery is used on the frontline- but due to the needs of the war, all the ‘normal treatments’ were left behind.
“While the war is still raging, there are all the necessities that a normal population has.
"People still have cancer and need treatment even during the war.
“And this is a war that has been now going on for almost 2 years.”