The Hellenic Initiative (THI) Australia has funded a major upgrade of two regional Paediatric Trauma Centres in Kastoria and Ioannina, through a new partnership with Paediatric Trauma Care, Pedtrauma, which aims to provide lifesaving care for children in need throughout Greece.
The first centre was officially opened in the northern city of Kastoria on September, 7, at a ceremony attended by Dr Helen Zorbas AO, CEO of Cancer Australia and Board Member of The Hellenic Initiative Australia.
The $48,000 grant given to Pedtrauma has enabled the purchase of significant medical equipment for the Paediatric Clinics and Neonatal Units at the General Hospital of Kastoria and the General Hospital of Ioannina, in northwestern Greece.
“The Hellenic Initiative Australia is proud to be supporting Pedtrauma, which is equipping hospitals throughout Greece with the facilities to provide critical health care to children,” said Nick Pappas, President of THI Australia.
“Thousands of children who pass through the hospitals in Kastoria and Ioannina every year will have access to these necessary facilities and lifesaving care,” Mr Pappas said.
Since 2010, Pedtrauma has spent more than €1.5 million establishing 18 Trauma Centres and upgrading 20 Paediatric Departments and Clinics in public hospitals throughout Greece, they have also supplied 657 machines for Paediatric Hospitals and trained 1,510 doctors on the treatment of injured children.
Welcoming the grant from THI Australia, Pedtrauma President Natasha Clive-Vrecossis said Pedtrauma was working through a growing waitlist of urgent requests from hospitals requiring specialised medical equipment for treating children.
“We are delighted that The Hellenic Initiative Australia is supporting our organisation and has assisted with these two regional hospitals in critical need,” Ms Clive-Vrecossis said.
“Our role is to support the hospitals and give them what they need to save our children’s lives because that’s what they are doing. Hospital by hospital, machine by machine, we have managed to fill this gap in Greece during very difficult times, but we still have a long way to go,” she said.
Through mapping and prioritising the needs of hospitals throughout Greece, Pedtrauma aims to provide access to urgent medical care for all children who are seriously injured.
“If there is a serious accident, a child has to get to a hospital very quickly. This is the ‘golden hour’, the first 60 minutes that a child has to be stabilised, otherwise they can lose the battle with life very quickly.
“Our goal is to upgrade all the hospitals in Greece and on the islands so that all children are within that one-hour radius to get to a hospital with the right facilities.”
The upgrade of the Ioannina General Hospital funded by The Hellenic Initiative Australia is expected to be completed in October.
*Photo Credit: Giannis Trasias