December 06, 2022

Metinvest’s “Saving Lives” Launches Prosthetic Care for Ukrainians

“Saving Lives”, Metinvest Group’s humanitarian initiative, is launching a large-scale programme to provide prosthetics and rehabilitate military and civilian residents of Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian aggression, the need for prosthetics for the Ukrainian military and civilians has increased significantly. As the war in Ukraine continues, the number of people who lose limbs will rise. Often, those who need prostheses do not know where to start and where to go for help. In addition, not everyone is able to pay for prosthetics independently, as the cost can start at several tens of thousands of euros. In this light, “Saving Lives” decided to help the injured return to normal life. 

What “Saving Lives” will do

The first focus of the initiative will be providing prosthetic care and rehabilitating Metinvest employees who have been defending the country in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. To date, around 7,000 Group employees have served in the Armed Forces. “Saving Lives”, together with the Ukraine Prosthetic Assistance Project and their partners ProsthetiKa and Razom for Ukraine, will take over the organisational and documentary issues regarding prosthetics for those injured. The first nine people are already receiving help and waiting for their prostheses. The programme includes preparation for prosthetics, fitting and follow-up in Ukrainian clinics, as well as physical and psychological rehabilitation. The first stage of the programme will cover 16 employees and their family members in Ukraine and abroad.

Anatoliy Uzlov, a serviceman and steelmaker at Zaporizhstal during peacetime, commented: “The war stranded me and my family at a ski resort in western Ukraine. After returning to Zaporizhzhia, I immediately joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine. During a combat mission in Pisky, near Donetsk, I received a shrapnel wound in my left hand, which required it to be amputated. However, thanks to Metinvest, I became a participant in the joint charitable programme of the “Saving Lives” humanitarian initiative and the Ukraine Prosthetic Assistance Project. I am currently undergoing prosthetics care and receiving a Norwegian bionic prosthesis, which I hope will allow me to continue living a full life without limitations. This is a vital initiative for all servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who have had to undergo amputation.”

In the future, the plan is to expand the programme to include war veterans and civilians in the regions where Metinvest enterprises are located. 

The second focus of “Saving Lives” is creating an online educational platform in Ukraine for specialists in prosthetic care and related rehabilitation. Founded with the support of the world-famous organisation ProsthetiKa, which since 2015 has been working to improve the qualifications of specialists and culture of prosthetics in Ukraine, the Ukraine Prosthetic Assistance Project is acting as a partner in the initiative. To date, the project has trained 400 prosthetists and helped more than 100 patients.

The goal of the educational platform is to create a broader and more systematic understanding of the needs of someone who has lost a limb; ensure better provision of limb prosthetics and related rehabilitation services; and understand the path of an amputee, from the moment of injury to return home with a prosthesis.
The training for medical personnel will consist of five courses in rehabilitation for prosthetists and patient care. They will include video lectures and practical tasks from teachers from Ukraine, the US, the UK and Sweden. After completing the training, participants receive certificates approved by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. 

The online educational platform will enable every domestic specialist dealing with limb amputations to gain a systematic understanding of the stages of rehabilitation, what needs to be done during each one, how to ensure a better result during limb prosthetics, how limb prosthetics are performed, how to help a person to master prosthesis, and how to apply all this in practice.

The availability of high-quality rehabilitation at all stages of recovery, as well as understanding how to choose and make a limb prosthesis, are crucial aspects of a person’s return to everyday life and work.

Commenting on the news, Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group, said: “The ‘Saving Lives’ initiative has been supporting everyone who needs help most since the beginning of the war. It was created to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in regions close to the front line. We have helped hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians with food and basic necessities, and hospitals with medicines and equipment. We also support the psychological recovery, education and reintegration of women and children affected by the war. To overcome the new challenges of war, we are expanding our humanitarian mission: we are introducing a large-scale prosthetics and rehabilitation programme for wounded veterans and civilians. Ukrainians, to whom we owe our lives, deserve the best prostheses.”

What “Saving Lives” does

The “Saving Lives” humanitarian initiative was created by Metinvest in coordination with the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It provides large-scale continuous assistance to Ukrainians with food and basic necessities. For this, two hubs have been set up in Poland, where wholesale cargoes are collected, sorted and prepared for further distribution. In coordination with the government of Ukraine, they are delivered to cities and regions where support is needed. 

More than 303,000 Ukrainians have already received food and hygiene kits. During the war, more than 3,900 tonnes of essential goods have been delivered to Ukraine from abroad. The project is supported by some 189 companies from all over the world, including Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, the US, the UK, Switzerland, Greece and the UAE.

The support covers 37 communities in the Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Kirovohrad and Zaporizhzhia regions. Assistance is provided to vulnerable categories of citizens, families of mobilised Metinvest employees and beneficiaries, veterans of Group enterprises, residents of shelters and residents of de-occupied territories.
In addition, “Saving Lives” is providing significant support to the medical sector. Since the beginning of the war, EUR240,000 of medicines, consumables and equipment have been delivered to Ukrainian hospitals.

One new focus of “Saving Lives” is rehabilitating employees injured in the war: veterans, their families, female employees and their children. 

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