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Dr. Stebliuk discusses progress in the area of Ukraine's military medicine

Ukraine's Minister of Defence, Stepan Poltorak, with Ukraine Support Fund founder, Lisa Shymko, in Kyiv, on the eve of the signing of the joint memorandum

Focus on Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)

As many international researchers, such as Anne McKee and Meghan Robinson, have confirmed, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a serious concern for the military. mTBI includes concussion, subconcussion, and most exposures to explosive blast from improvised explosive devices.

mTBI is the most common traumatic brain injury affecting military personnel; however, it is the most difficult to diagnose and the least well understood. It is also recognized that some mTBIs have persistent, and sometimes progressive, long-term debilitating effects.

Increasing evidence suggests that a single traumatic brain injury can produce long-term gray and white matter atrophy, precipitate or accelerate age-related neurodegeneration, and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and motor neuron disease. In addition, repetitive mTBIs can provoke the development of a tauopathy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Reseachers have found early changes of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in young veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict who were exposed to explosive blast and in another young veteran who was repetitively concussed. Veterans with early-stage chronic traumatic encephalopathy were also diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder. Repetitive neurotrauma while in service is therefore a great concern.

The Ukraine Support Fund facilitates the publication of information materials for veterans and medical personnel on the risks, signs, and treatment of concussions.

Research, Knowledge-exchange, Training

Focus on Women

The Ukraine Support Fund is currently the only Canadian not-for-profit organization whose humanitarian activities focus on serving the health-care needs of female servicewomen, through the Ukrainian Military Women's Health Initiative.

The Ukraine Support Fund is a signatory of a four-partner memorandum of cooperation with Ukraine's Ministry of Defence, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine focusing on training and expert knowledge-exchange targeting the gender-specific needs of women deployed in the combat zone, as well as returning female veterans.

The Ukrainian Military Women's Health Initiative focuses on knowledge exchange as well as humanitarian assistance. The project addresses the physical and psychological challenges facing female military service personnel stationed in the eastern Ukraine combat zone, as well as the medical needs of returning female veterans.

The project's priorities includes the provision of medicines, equipment, research, training, and logistical support for doctors and medical staff.

Of primary concern is the health impact of combat stress on the reproductive system of female military servicewomen in long-term deployment. The USF hopes to share scientific data gathered from combat-zone research with NATO partners, as it is indicative of the need for intervention before, during, and after deployment.

Dr. Vsevolod Stebliuk, frequently visits military training centres, field hospitals, where he provides onsite lectures and seminars for military medical staff and soldiers.

Col. Dr. Vsevolod Stebliuk leads medical training exercises at one of Ukraine's military education centres.

Ukraine's Minister of Defence, Stepan Poltorak, with Ukraine Support Fund founder, Lisa Shymko, in Kyiv, on the eve of the signing of the joint memorandum

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  Professor Dr. Tatiana Tatarchuk, MD, Deputy Director for Research of the   Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the National Academy of   Medical Science of Ukraine speaking with a physician from the 66 mobile military field hospital, following his training in Kyiv supported by the Ukraine Support Fund.

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