Yevtushenko Andriy (Y.A.) MD Ph.D., owner and head vitreoretinal and cataract surgeon EyeQclinic Kharkiv, Sumy and Kramatorsk.
Interviewer: Lana Datuashvili (L.D.)
L.D: Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed at such a difficult time. Tell us about your working environment before and after the Ukrainian-Russian war?
Y.A: My work before the war was concentrated in Kharkiv, Sumy, and Kramatorsk. A total of about 4,000 operations (cataract surgery, vitrectomy, excimer laser correction) per year were performed. Now, since February 24, clinics have not been working at all, fighting is underway in all our regions, and 75 of our employees have lost their jobs and livelihoods. Some of the staff remained in the cellars in Kharkiv, some left for western Ukraine and abroad. Few have been able to find work now. I live and operate now in Vinnytsia, in a relatively calm region of right-bank Ukraine, in clinics whose surgeons left. We operate on cataracts and vitrectomy. Including Free of charge on volunteer terms, we operate on soldiers of the armed forces of Ukraine and the civilian population affected by the War.
L.D: Tell us about an emergency surgical cases during this period?
Y.A: This week, for example, three interventions are planned, one fighter and two children after penetrating shrapnel wounds. There were four operations last week, mainly the consequences of penetrating wounds with intraocular foreign bodies. Consumables are still available in the country, and a certain amount of assistance is received from European colleagues. And more about the conditions – we are now operating under the almost constant howl of air raid sirens.
L.D: Please share your wishes with the other world?
Y. A: I would like to wish the countries of Europe and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to show more support for Ukraine. In my native Kharkov, more than 50 apartment buildings are destroyed daily by shelling, half of the schools and other facilities are destroyed. And in Mariupol, 300,000 people, women, children, and the elderly, are sitting in basements in a complete blockade without water. Food, medicine. And all Russian and Belarusian ophthalmologists who directly or indirectly (by their silence) support Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Ukrainian Vitreoretinal Society has created a petition to expel ophthalmologists from these countries from all international communities and a ban on participation in international conferences. I will send the link, and a request to all European colleagues to sign it and thereby support Ukraine.
L.D: I wish you peace and health. Glory to Ukraine!