A group of pediatric urologists and surgeons from Canada came to Lviv to share their experience and knowhow with their Ukrainian colleagues. They worked at the Lviv Metropolitan Pediatric Clinic from October 19-23. The Children of Chornobyl Canadian Fund and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress sponsored the trip.
SickKids International, established in Toronto in 2006, undertakes educational and advisory projects with international partners. The Lviv Metropolitan Pediatric Clinic has partnered with SickKids for almost two years.
The Lviv-SickKids internship program in pediatric medicine was launched in November, 2013.
Neurosurgeon, Senior Scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children, and head of the Division of Neurosurgery at the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, Dr. James Rutka, together with Myroslava Romakh, his invaluable assistant in the project, are directing the program.
Dr. Rutka has been to Kyiv and Lviv before, where besides performing several surgeries, he conducted lectures and master classes in neurosurgery. Dr. Rutka is of Ukrainian descent.
In September, 2014, Dr. Rutka brought with him a neuroendoscope, purchased by the CCCF with funds donated by the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada, to the Lviv Pediatric Clinic.
Pediatric urologist Dr. Walit Farhat, doctor of medical science, staff surgeon at The Hospital for Sick Children, Professor of Surgery with the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto, and consultant in lithotripsy, was part of the visiting group, as was pediatric urologist Dr. Frank Papanikolaou, Master of Public Health and Clinical Epidemiology, Division Head of Pediatric Surgery at Trillium Health Partners, and Medical Director of Ambulatory Care at The Credit Valley Hospital.
In three days the Canadian doctors provided several dozen consultations and performed 13 surgeries on patients with various atypical conditions at the Department of Urology at the Lviv Metropolitan Pediatric Clinic.
“We chose extremely complex cases for surgery. Professor Farhat and Dr. Papanikolaou performed the operations exceptionally well!” noted Professor Andriy Nakonecnhyi, Director of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at Lviv University of Medicine.
A closing Canadian-Ukrainian technological conference, “Issues in Pediatric Urology,” was held on October 23, 2015 in which the organization and economics of health care in Canada along with a variety of problematic urological conditions in children were examined.
“We thank you, the doctors and all the hospital personnel, for your warm welcome. Every night we returned to our hotels exhausted, falling asleep instantly. But the knowledge that we were helping sick kids and that we were sharing our experience with our Ukrainian colleagues was far more important than our fatigue. We want to continue our cooperation. This is just the beginning!” exclaimed Professor Farhat.