Health

Doctors and nurses being trained to use HIV rapid tests in Odesa.
Doctors and nurses being trained to use HIV rapid tests in Odesa.

OVERVIEW

USAID’s support to Ukraine’s health sector is focused on health reform and combating infectious diseases. USAID is supporting the Government of Ukraine (GoU) and civil society to build a health system that responds to the needs of the Ukrainian people. USAID supports Ukraine’s response to its high burden of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), and is working to improve the immunization program in Ukraine.

Ukraine has the second highest burden of HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe, with widespread HIV and HCV co-infection. Globally, Ukraine has among the highest rates of MDR-TB which is very difficult to treat. Further, Ukraine has one of the lowest rates of immunization – which has led to polio and measles outbreaks. 

Ukraine’s heavy disease burden is a result of an inefficient health system that has overly relied on expensive hospital-based care, and is vulnerable to corruption. 

OUR PROGRAMS

HEALTH REFORM

USAID assists the GoU and civil society to introduce a transparent and well-governed system of financing health services and pharmaceutical procurement with five key goals:

  • Protect the population against impoverishing health expenditures
  • Create an effective public health system to fight the burden of infectious diseases
  • Improve access to essential drugs
  • Decrease corruption in the health sector
  • Achieve better governance and management 

COMBATTING INFECTIOUS DISEASE

HIV/AIDS: USAID implements the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Ukraine and partners with the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, local government, healthcare facilities, and civil society organizations to eliminate HIV/AIDS as a public health threat. USAID technical assistance is improving HIV service quality, ensuring more Ukrainians know their HIV status, linking people living with HIV/AIDS to treatment and care, and reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

Tuberculosis (TB): USAID supports Ukraine’s TB control program to implement new treatment approaches including the use of new drugs and shorter treatment regiments for MDR-TB. USAID is collaborating with the Ukrainian National Public Health Center to provide more effective TB services as Ukraine transitions to the increased use of out-patient primary care.

Immunization: Ukraine has one of the lowest immunization rates in the world due to distrust of vaccines by medical professionals and parents, and extended periods of stockouts. USAID contributes to rebuilding the routine immunization program through political advocacy, communications, social mobilization, capacity development, and enhancing education and training for health providers.

A social worker gives a multidrug-resistant TB patient grocery store vouchers - an incentive to improve adherence to treatment.
A social worker gives a multidrug-resistant TB patient grocery store vouchers - an incentive to improve adherence to treatment.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Health Reform:

  • Ukraine’s Parliament recently approved health system financing reform legislation.
  • Developed annual cost per individual for a state-guaranteed primary health care services package.  
  • Launched core pieces of eHealth system for primary health center payments, state reimbursement of essential medicines
  • Established National Public Health Institute and Kyiv Municipal Public Health Center.
  • Launched health systems reform and financing course with Harvard University for national health administrators and faculty from leading educational institutions.
  • Supported development of the National Essential Medicines List to make government procurement more transparent.
  • Provide legal, communication, health financing, and procurement support for health systems reforms.

Combating Infectious Disease:

  • Partnered with stakeholders to adapt WHO HIV Test & Start guidelines to Ukraine’s context. 
  • Supported removal of local legal and financial barriers to provide and scale-up HIV services in seven focal regions.
  • GoU increased contribution for HIV/AIDS response from $225K in 2015 to $1.96M in 2017.
  • Improved HIV testing accessibility by providing services in different types of healthcare facilities.
  • Designed National Strategic Information Portal for HIV/AIDS – a repository for national and regional HIV/AIDS data.
  • Developed quality improvement for HIV services curriculum that was institutionalized by the National Medical University.
  • Received new TB drug Bedaquiline to improve treatment success for MDR-TB patients.

Immunization:

  • Contributed to emergency 2015-2016 polio outbreak response; together with partners quelled the outbreak after nine months by conducting high-level advocacy, improving health care providers counselling skills and knowledge, and effectively communicating the importance of vaccination.
  • Improved attitudes towards immunization: 74% of parents supported vaccination in 2016 versus 28% in 2008. 

Last updated: December 15, 2017

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