Visit of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko, wife of the President of Ukraine, to Volyn
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Visit of Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko, wife of the President of Ukraine, to Volyn

Serhiy Lapchenko
OMNI-Net Information Coordinator

On July 5, 2007 the Volyn Regional Children's Territorial Medical Center (VRCTMC) was visited by Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko, "Ukraine-3000" Fund Supervisory Board Head, Wife of the President of Ukraine.

The honored guest visited the Neonatal Center of the Volyn Regional Children's Clinical Hospital and became acquainted with the Anesthesiology Department for Sick and Premature Newborns.

Big interest was aroused by the information of VRCTMC General Director Dr. Hryhoriy Vashchylin regarding improvement of perinatal services in the Volyn Region and urgency of continuation building the Regional Perinatal Center.

In the Volyn Informational Resource Birth Defects Prevention OMNI-Center Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko was told about the center activities since its creation in 1999 as well its work today. After finishing the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding, the major part of the activities began by the Ukrainian-American Birth Defects Prevention Program have been continued by the International Children's OMNI-Net Not-For-Profit Organization in collaboration and partnership with major children's medical facilities (in Volyn it is the Volyn Regional Children's Territorial Medical Center).

Mrs. K. Yushchenko in the Volyn OMNI-Center
Mrs. K. Yushchenko in the Volyn OMNI-Center

The President's wife got acquainted with Neonate and Birth Defects Registries being developed in the Ukrainian regions where OMNI-Centers are situated and received information about some prevention initiatives (fighting neural tube defects epidemic in Ukraine by means of fortification, preventing "hospitalism" in orphans under state care with the help of volunteers, etc.). She was especially interested in practical introduction of folic acid flour fortification to prevent neural tube defects. Mrs. Kateryna promised to raise this question upon her return to Kyiv.

The Volyn OMNI-Center team told the guests about the new OMNI-Net strategy - creation of early development and early intervention resources for children with special needs. Mrs. K. Yushchenko received a set of newest OMNI-Net publications on the question - Early Intervention Program "Small Steps" (translated from English with consent of the Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia), "Growth References: Third Trimester to Adulthood" (translated from English with consent of the Greenwood Genetic Center, USA), as well as "Birth Defects Book for Specialists" and "Birth Defects Book for Parents".

Mrs. K. Yushchenko looking at the "Small Steps" Early Intervention Program
Mrs. K. Yushchenko looking
at the "Small Steps"
Early Intervention Program

At the end of the visit Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko wrote the following words in the Golden Book of the Perinatal Center Founders: "I hope very much that your innovative center will be open soon and your small patients will be treated there. We appeal to the community and authority to do their best to open the center as soon as possible. I wish you success, inspiration and God's blessing".

Date of report: July 6, 2007

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