KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A New Orleans-based infectious disease physician is in Ukraine to provide services to Ukrainians who have been critically injured.

Dr. MarkAlain Dery, the chief innovation officer and medical director for infectious diseases at Access Health Louisiana, said it was just a matter of time before his friend, who runs SWISS Foundation for Innovation and Training in Surgery, an emergency transport service, called him to ask that he offer his expertise in trauma in Ukraine.

Dr. Dery arrived in Ukraine in May. According to his translator and guide, so far, about 4,000 Ukrainian civilians have died.

“At one point, we’d be transporting people out of areas of conflict to safe areas, typically in Romania, or Moldova, and then from there on to Germany or Switzerland,” said Dery.

Dery and his colleagues are also establishing training programs to certify Ukrainian first responders in emergency medical services and teach Ukrainians in healthcare about wartime and conflict medicine.

“We’re training firefighters and police in how to evaluate a person who’s a victim of trauma, and then what we’re doing is we’re establishing a sophisticated program for physicians and nurses, medical students and nursing students,” said Dery.

The infectious disease doctor says he has been in awe of the Ukrainians’ strength.

“It’s incredible to see every single person is unified in fighting this senseless war against the Russians,” said Dery.

He is asking that Americans remember innocent civilians are fighting for their freedom.

“I would ask that people recognize and stand with the Ukrainian people, and if there’s any Ukrainians watching, I just want to say, ‘Slava Ukraini,’ which means ‘victory in Ukraine,’” said Dery.

The doctor says he anticipates he will be in Ukraine for a couple more weeks while he works to get their educational programs off the ground.

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