On 3 November 2023, the EU-funded EU4IBM-Resilience project implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development delivered an exoskeleton for physical rehabilitation, and organized training for the State Border Guard Service medical personnel.
The project works to supply some of the urgently needed equipment to three specialized SBGS hospitals across Ukraine to help ensure rehabilitation for servicemen and servicewomen injured while performing their duties on the frontline and along the border with the aggressor. Some equipment for light physical therapy was delivered earlier in October. For better results in rehabilitation of severely wounded border guards as well as their faster recovery, more advanced tools are being procured and delivered, such as the exoskeleton worth nearly 120,000 euros.
“Strengthening the border management resilience is the core objective of our project, and people are the most important factor of this resilience. Enhancing the rehabilitation capacities of the State Border Guard Service has therefore become a high and honorable priority for us”, notes Arunas Adomenas, EU4IBM-Resilience Team Leader.
Exoskeleton is a wearable device intended for the rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system in case of traumatic injuries of the spinal cord, traumatic brain injuries, or muscular dystrophy. This “suit” provides additional support and strength to enable the person wearing it to move. The cutting-edge technology thus promotes early mobility, helps correct posture, puts patients back on their feet by relearning proper step patterns and weight shifting.
“This type of rehabilitation device is really helpful in our work. In addition to physical health benefits, it produces a positive impact on the psychological well-being of patients in long-term rehabilitation”, comments Ivan Honchar, the acting Head of the Physical Rehabilitation Department of the SBGS hospital in Kyiv.
The use of an exoskeleton helps to set up a progressive recovery plan, with passive, active, or active-assisted movements, that takes into account each individual’s motor skills and current rehabilitation stage. The device comes equipped with software that includes early mobility programmes to aid the recovery of natural human walking. A series of trainings was accordingly arranged for selected SBGS medical practitioners to introduce them into handling and operation of the exoskeleton, configuring personalized training modes based on assessment of patient’s medical condition.
“At the training, we tested the exoskeleton both as rehabilitation specialists and as ‘patients’, which allowed us to better understand the equipment and put in practice our new skills. I am highly enthusiastic about integrating such devices into our daily efforts for recovery of our injured fellow border guards”, acclaims one of the therapists.
As the exoskeleton starts to fulfil its function, the EU4IBM-Resilience project team carry on their work to procure and deliver other advanced equipment and ensure training for Ukrainian physical rehabilitation practitioners to build the capacity of the State Border Guard Service.
Kinesiotherapy and cryotherapy devices, parapodiums and ceiling hoist systems are expected to be delivered to SBGS hospitals by the end of the year.