Skip links

BSPHO coordinating the evacuation of Ukrainian children with cancer

Date: May 13, 2022
BSPHO | EN Private | EN Public | FR Private | FR Public | NL Private | NL Public

The BSPHO team ready to welcome the patients in the Queen Astrid military hospital (NOH).

bspho team

Shortly after the start of the war in Ukraine, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital started to organise the transfer of Ukrainian children with cancer to Western Europe to ensure the best care for the patients and their family.  This is done with the support of the national organisations and therefore the BSPHO is the National Coordinator for Belgium.

7 children with cancer arrived in Belgium on May 13. 3 patients are expected by the end of the month.

This has been a long lasting effort started back in March to get everything organised with the health authorities. But the result was a smooth and successful operation the BSPHO can be proud of.

The BSPHO leading this first evacuation was primarily in contact with the partners in Ukraine and Poland (St Jude’s Unicorn Clinic) to define which patients could be evacuated to Belgium and dispatching them between the national PHO centres (providing also medical files so that each team could get prepared).  In parallel, the BSPHO was in direct contact with the Belgian authorities (Ministries of Health, Immigration and Defense) to organise the B-fast evacuation flight and the logistics on the Belgium soil.

On 13th of May, upon arrival in Melsbroeck, the patients and their family (mainly mothers and siblings) were taken by ambulances and bus to the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Neder-Over-Heembeek (NOH).

In NOH, the army had set up a “triage” zone

noh set up

where BSPHO medical staff performed a thorough first evaluation of each patient before departure to their destination PHO centre

box d'examen à noh

and a “Registration” area where they could complete immigration paperwork, register with Fedasil for lodging and receive a welcome pack from the patients associations (incl. a phone and prepaid sim card to be able to contact their family).

espace d'enregistrement à noh

All patients arrived safely to destination and are receiving best care possible.

Here is the official Press Release (in Dutch and French).

We hope we can repeat this type of evacuation as needed in the coming months.