DZIF tuberculosis researchers help Ukrainian partner university

Online lecture series on tuberculosis and other infectious diseases

Video conference with the V.N. Karazin University in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

© C. Lange/DZIF

"How can we support our Ukrainian partners in times of war?"—This was the question posed by DZIF scientist Professor Christoph Lange and his colleagues from the Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Lung Center. At the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Kharkiv, Ukraine, teaching staff are absent due to the war and the continuation of classes is a major challenge. As a result, students are unable to progress with their studies. Christoph Lange and his colleagues therefore came up with the idea of creating an online lecture series for Ukraine.

DZIF scholarship holder Lennard Meiwes (left) und Prof Christoph Lange transporting medicines, generators and medical devices for the tuberculosis hospital in Kharkiv.

© C. Lange/DZIF

Two hundred Ukrainian students, researchers and medical professionals took part in the kick-off event of the online lecture series "Tuberculosis and other Infectious Diseases" on 12 January. Over the next five months, leading scientists from Germany, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and the USA will hold an online lecture once a week on the topics of tuberculosis, HIV, COVID-19 and viral hepatitis to support the partners in Ukraine. "We asked the university in Kharkiv whether and where there was a need and, based on this, we organised a series of lectures. In times of war, it is very difficult to maintain teaching on site, so we wanted to help and make a small contribution," says Prof Lange, whose DZIF "ClinTB" team in Borstel collects donations for the tuberculosis hospital in Kharkiv and regularly sends medicines and medical instruments to Ukraine.

Dr Olha Konstantynovska, a tuberculosis doctor in Kharkiv and associate professor at the V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, will accompany and support the event on site. Olha Konstantynovska took part in a DZIF tuberculosis course at the Borstel Research Center last summer as a visiting professor and reported on the impact of the war in Ukraine on patient care in the country. Her presentation made a strong impression on all participants on site and emphasised that every bit of help counts and the doctors on site must be supported in their work.

The lectures in English (presentation slides in Ukrainian language) have been taking place on Fridays from 14:00 to 15:00 CEST (13:00 to 14:00 CET) since the beginning of this year. Interested parties are welcome to follow the event, the programme and the dial-in code can be found here. The first "season" runs until mid-May, but there are already requests for further topics.

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