Leading prosthetics provider MCOP International (MCOPi) and Steward Health Care Malta (SHCM), with the support of the Ministry for Health, will assist as many as 24 amputees and victims of the conflict in Ukraine by providing prosthetics in St. Luke’s Hospital over the coming 12 months, as part of “Operation Renew Prosthetics”.
An estimated 3,000 Ukrainians have lost a limb due to the current conflict, primarily due to bomb blasts and other explosions. The team of professionals led by SHCM and MCOPi has developed an advanced care model that provides prosthetic legs and arms as well as therapy and training for victims, giving them everything they need to get back to full function, return home and become independent in a future peaceful Ukraine.
Beyond the capabilities of other clinics in Europe, this programme is unique in its ability to treat the more severely injured patients, including those with high-level loss, multiple limb amputations and bomb-blast injuries and burns that require sophisticated treatment and prosthesis.
Funding for this humanitarian programme will initiate with funding from the US charity Revived Soldiers Ukraine as well as Kyiv-based charity Future For Ukraine. It is estimated that two patients will be receiving care in Malta every month, and each amputee will spend around four weeks of rehabilitation in Malta. The first two patients are expected to arrive in Malta in January 2023.
Steward Health Care Malta President Dr. Nadine Delicata stated: “We are honoured to be part of this important initiative and pleased that our long-term partnership with the Government and MCOPi can contribute towards helping some victims of the Ukraine crisis build a better future. We look forward to welcoming our first patients in January and to getting the programme underway.”
MCOPi will be responsible for the provision of the clinical service with a certified prosthetist and delivery of the component parts for prosthetic devices. It will also coordinate care planning and patient treatments with the funding charities and provide high-level specialised training to Maltese therapists working at the Amputee Rehabilitation Unit at St. Luke’s Hospital, who will be involved in the project.
Steward Health Care Malta will support this important humanitarian project ensuring that this will not in any way delay care, increase waiting times or negatively impact the provision of prosthetics to Maltese amputees or other patients making use of Steward’s Orthotics and Prosthetics Unit (OPU) and related rehabilitation services. Additional support for the programme includes staffing and logistical support from SHCM.
On its part, the Ministry for Health will support the project through facilitation of visas and travel documentation for Ukrainian nationals, as well as allowing the provision of prosthetic devices in Malta and physical therapy for Ukrainian amputees being treated under this programme.