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Cradles of Hope: NEWS


At the conference of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation's Cradles of Hope program, neonatologists from all regions of Ukraine discussed nursing newborns in time of war

On December 6-7, 2023, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation's Cradles of Hope programme held the 14th international scientific and practical conference "Management of newborn care during the war in Ukraine" in Kyiv.

The aim of the conference is to improve the professional knowledge of neonatal intensive care unit doctors on providing quality medical care under martial law and limited technical support. The participants of the event had the opportunity to learn about the experience of leading Ukrainian medical institutions during the war, as well as the best practices of European neonatologists in caring for preterm infants and newborns with complex neonatal pathology.

“At today's conference, we heard the stories of doctors from Kherson, Kharkiv, Sumy, Chernihiv and Zhytomyr, who have been saving children's lives in basements, shelters, under rockets and hailstones, under occupation, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. And I am proud of them, their stories need to be told. Our doctors are real heroes. Neonatologists who save the lives of premature babies are actually fighting for the right of these little Ukrainians to live. And this is what our Ukrainian nation is all about, because for us every life is priceless. What doctors do during the war is not only about the duty of doctors, it is about the values of the Ukrainian people. And Cradles of Hope is a project about values and about saving lives," said businessman and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk.

This year's conference was attended by 120 leading experts from all regions of Ukraine and foreign specialists: neonatologists, paediatric anaesthetists, paediatricians, heads of medical institutions, representatives of specialised departments of higher medical educational institutions of Ukraine.

"The war has caused a lot of problems for all spheres of social life without exception, including maternity and childcare: the number of preterm births has increased due to stress, the migration of the female population has caused perinatal centres and maternity hospitals in some regions of Ukraine to work with a significant overload, and doctors have to save babies sometimes in very difficult conditions - poorly adapted shelters, under fire and in blackouts. "For more than 17 years, Cradles of Hope has been providing neonatal centres with the most modern medical equipment. Equally importantly, they develop Ukrainian neonatology, support our doctors and provide them with opportunities to share their experience, such as today's event on newborn nursing during the war," commented Svitlana Ryabchenko, Head of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation's Cradles of Hope program.

Tetyana Znamenska, President of the Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine, said: "One of the main merits of our doctors is that we quickly switched to tactical medicine and medicine that helps not only children but also their families survive in war. There were moments when families with newborns were given the opportunity to stay in wards in perinatal centres for a long time, realising that they simply had nowhere else to go. Doctors moved to clinics and lived there for six months, helping women in labour and their children. We saw that Ukraine began to live as one family. We survived with the belief that there are people who care and that everyone is a hero in their place."

This year, the Cradles of Hope programme celebrates its 17th anniversary. During this time, 35 Cradles of Hope neonatal centres have been opened at state medical institutions in all regions of Ukraine. More than 68,000 babies have been saved in the Cradles of Hope centres, and Ukrainian neonatology, including through the support of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, has achieved great results in the field of preterm infant care - today, care for preterm infants and babies in critical conditions in our country meets high international standards.

In addition to equipping neonatal centres with state-of-the-art medical equipment, the Foundation is working to train doctors and nurses in international childcare techniques. As part of this project, the Foundation promotes the introduction of the latest technologies and practices on the way to reforming the maternal and child healthcare sector in Ukraine.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation also provides assistance to newborn babies within the framework of the Ukraine Relief Fund, a joint philanthropic initiative established by Victor and Olena Pinchuk and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Eric and Wendy Schmidt and Schmidt Futures, Robert F. Smith and Vista Equity Partners, Andrew and Nicola Forrest's Mineroo Foundation, Bill Ford and the General Atlantic Foundation.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Ukraine Relief Fund has provided 229 units of medical equipment, other equipment and supplies worth a total of UAH 60.5 million to medical institutions providing care to newborn babies. In particular, 67 medical institutions across Ukraine received 167 newborn heating systems, and 14 institutions in the frontline regions received sets of transport incubators and transport ventilators for safe transportation of newborns and assistance in shelters.

Organiser of the Conference: The Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Partners: Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine, N.Z.Techno Trading and Industrial Company, DoctorThinking Medical Education Platform.

The conference's media partner, StarLightMedia, is filming all the presentations professionally, which will soon be available on the Cradles of Hope program website.

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