Medical train Ukraine

Ukrainian ‘Hospital on Wheels’ completes 100th mission

Source: doctors without borders on twitterMSF Ukraine

Since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, the medical trains launched by Ukrainian Railways and Doctors Without Borders have evacuated 3,000 wounded civilians in Ukraine. This Monday marked the 100th flight of the medical trains, which has been instrumental in saving lives amidst the war. 

“When we started medical evacuation train project, we thought we would do some 10 to 20 trips. We didn’t expect to still be moving patients nearly a year later. The needs are still high”, said Emergency Coordinator of Doctors Without Borders Christopher Stokes at the Central Railway Station of Kyiv in Monday.

The first 4-car medical train was equipped in record time with the technical assistance of Doctors Without Borders on March 26, 2022. It has been providing critical transportation for wounded, sick, and traumatised citizens, including children. Within a month, Ukrainian Railways provided Doctors Without Borders with a second – even bigger train with 8 carriages, which became a “full-fledged hospital on wheels”, says Yevhen Lyashchenko, chairman of the board of Ukrainian Railways in a statement. The train can transport wounded and sick people to safe places while their health is monitored by special equipment and professional doctors.

Saving as many lives as possible

The medical train project has been a collaborative effort between Ukranian Raiwlays (Ukrzaliznytsia), Doctors Without Borders, and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. It features an intensive care car equipped with advanced medical equipment and a full range of necessary medicines, and is staffed by an international team of therapists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses working alongside railway workers. The routes and stops of the train are kept secret for the safety of the medics and evacuees.

“It was a difficult challenge for railway workers, because the world has not had the practice of building evacuation medical trains for a long time, especially in such a short period of time”, says board chairman Lyashchenko. “But we did not have time for long planning, because the war was already in full swing, it was a matter of saving as many lives as possible”.

Watch a video of inside the train below:

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Author: Esther Geerts


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