ANZAC Day: Caring for paediatric refugees through COVID-19

22 April 2022

For more than 23 years A/Prof Luke Jeremijenko, a Specialist Emergency Physician at The Wesley, has served as a Major – Senior Medical Officer, in the Australian Army.

In his time with the Army, A/Prof Jeremijenko has deployed overseas with the Special Air Service Regiment as their Regimental Medical Officer to an undisclosed location. Having obtained his Paediatric Emergency Fellowship from Queensland Children’s Hospital, he was selected due to the high proportion of Paediatric Retrievals required. Of more than 3500 refugees, 2500 were women or children. Along with managing the acute trauma and acute paediatric emergency medicine, he was instrumental in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic in the refugee camp.

“It was the hardest I have has ever worked in my life. I’m proud that there were no deaths or significant acute medical complications during Australia’s largest refugee evacuation in recent memory.”

His extensive military experience includes deploying to Timor Leste, Nauru, Papua New Guinea and border protection services as a Ships Doctor on the HMAS Tobruk.

This ANZAC day is particularly pertinent to him, as his father was born in Mariupol, Ukraine.

“I can’t help but bring attention to the trauma and widespread destruction of my father’s hometown - currently facing day 60 under severe bombardment and the horrors of large scale war.

“ANZAC day is not about glorifying war, but remembering the sacrifices of those who have fallen before us so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have today.”

A/Prof Jeremijenko particularly enjoys treating Veterans and their family members with their acute medical problems at The Wesley Emergency Centre.

We stand with A/Prof Jeremeijenko this ANZAC day in commemorating the lives of all Australians killed in military operations, and recognising the contribution of our many DVA patients as part of this legacy.

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