Today is not only the first day of winter :-), not only the World AIDS Day, it’s also the day when Alliance was born!
Today we are 20!
20 years of inspired work with our partners, communities, and experts to eliminate the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis, and hepatitis in Ukraine and in our region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia to make sure that public health systems work more effectively and take into account the needs of different populations. Today we are also fighting the new challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are things we are proud of – active engagement with communities, innovative approaches implemented and the fact that we are widely known as a professional, qualified, vibrant and dynamic organization. We do not stop and are moving forward!
We would like to celebrate this day with doing good, remembering our key achievements and the people who have been with us throughout this time – helping, creating, changing! That is why we have prepared many useful and fascinating things to inspire you this December!
Follow our news, it will be exciting!
P.S: Have you already checked out our festive logo?)
On December 1, 2020 at 17:00 (Moscow time) the special episode of the program To Tell the Truth, an educational project of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) and UNESCO, with the support of the social network Odnoklassniki will be broadcast online on the platform http://od.ru/test .
The topic of the #ItsinYourPowertoLive broadcast is not chosen by chance, this year AIDS Day is very different compared to previous years, since today we are living in a double pandemic – the HIV and COVID-19 pandemic.
These pandemics have a lot in common: general confusion, fear, lack of specific treatment (for COVID-19 now, as at the beginning of the HIV epidemic in early 90-s). Someone does not believe in virus existence, someone sees in it a worldwide conspiracy. How to survive during a pandemic? How can lessons from one pandemic be useful to combat another?
The guests of the broadcast are people who faced HIV infection in the past, when medicine was powerless or not accessible, and society lived in fear and disbelief, and today, when the HIV virus has become one of the most studied on the planet, share their stories on what helped them survive, continue to live today and believe in tomorrow.
Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for EECA. Vera will share the main takeaways from her years working in HIV as an Goodwill Ambassador.
Host: Oksana Maklakova, journalist, editor-in-chief of the E1 portal
Natalya Ladnaya, Senior Researcher, Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Rospotrebnadzor, Moscow,
Alexander Goliusov, UNAIDS Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia,
Vera Brezhneva, UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for EECA
Conversation with the heroes of the information campaign It’s in your power to live and HIV will not change it, who remember the times without treatment and with stigma, will talk about their experience of HIV dissidence, as well as the importance of reliable information in the media to fight myths. Broadcast guests:
Svetlana Tsukanova, Program Manager, Doctors of the World Association, Director of Svetozar NGO, Moscow,
Yulia Yakovleva, peer consultant, HIV activist from Chelyabinsk
Svetlana Sumina, peer consultant at the AIDS Center from the patient community “Ostrov”, Novosibirsk,
Alexander Chebin, project coordinator at the Regional Public Fund “New Life”: Yekaterinburg,
Margarita Loginova, journalist of Taiga.info, author of the podcast about people with HIV “One pluses”, Novosibirsk,
Sergey Ulyanov, HIV activist, coordinator at the HIV-service NGO Humanitarian Project, participant of the Patient Control movement, Novosibirsk.
The broadcast was prepared jointly with partners from the St. Petersburg charitable foundation “Humanitarian Action”.
Air on December 1, 2020 at 17:00 (Moscow time) on the website http://od.ru/test with broadcast also on Facebook.https: //www.facebook.com/UNAIDSEECA
The Alliance for Public Health has launched the first regional COVID-19 program funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The budget is $500,000. The implementation of activities is designed for 8 months: from November 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
The COVID-19 program will be coordinated by the #SoS_project team in 14 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the regional level with a national focus on countries not receiving grants from the Global Fund – Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Russia.
“It was obvious to us that the countries of the EECA region urgently need additional support. Primarily to help them maintain the advancements of HIV/TB programs that are at risk because of COVID-19. The effective provision of HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support services across the region must continue,” said Tatiana Vinichenko, Portfolio Manager at the Global Fund. – Therefore, the decision to initiate special funding in connection with COVID-19 for operational activities in the countries was extremely necessary. And the regional program will allow us to provide support for regional initiatives and national initiatives in several countries at once”.
Note that the volume of government funding for HIV services among key populations and people living with HIV was extremely insufficient in the EECA region at the beginning of 2020. With the COVID-19 outbreak, which rocked the entire world, all countries began to revise their budgets, prioritizing measures against COVID-19. This has jeopardized many years of work to build the sustainability of HIV services across the region.
“The support of the Global Fund has played a critical role in the immediate response to the COVID-19 problem,” says Sergey Filippovych, director of the #SoS_project at the Alliance for Public Health. “At the same time, there are countries in the EECA region that do not receive financial support from the Global Fund. They do not have national grants, and they are even more vulnerable, which negatively affects the response to epidemics. Therefore, our team decided to support these countries and ensure the allocation of funding for critical events through the Global Background regional grant mechanism. ”
Based on the analysis of the epidemiological situation, the latest technical guidelines and assessments available, as well as the existing funding structure, problem areas were identified in programs to ensure the sustainability of programs and HIV in EECA countries related to the COVID-19 problem. These are the areas that have been selected as the focus of the regional COVID-19 program:
The continuity of HIV services in the cities of the Russian Federation and Bosnia and Herzegovina; simplification and increasing availability of services
Respect for human rights, gender equality for representatives of key groups in response to COVID-19
Contingency planning for sustainable service delivery in EECA countries during and after COVID-19.
In the Russian Federation, the project is supposed to provide services related to HIV and prevention of COVID-19 to at least 2,500 PLHIV and key populations. Masks, gloves, hygiene kits will be purchased for them. It is also planned to install syringe machines and condoms in order to minimize personal contact and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, work will focus on establishing and operating a telemedicine systemfor patients who live in remote areas and cannot reach clinics in nearby towns or villages.
At the same time, planning and national approval of COVID-19 related changes in HIV services will be undertaken in all project countries.
A separate focus of the COVID-19 program will be human, community and gender rights, in the context of adaptability and delivery of HIV services, and ensuring sustainable access to services. The geography of monitoring human rights violations using the REAct tool, as well as the work of the partner of the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, will be expanded and systematized in several more countries of the region. Thus, the closure of borders also led to the interruption of the supply of drugs for substitution therapy to Moldova. This risk exists in other countries as well. In addition, government agencies responsible for OST and harm reduction programs in several countries have not announced a tender for the purchase of drugs or announced the acceptance of bids from civil society organizations providing harm reduction services. This is already a critical situation in Montenegro and Bulgaria.
Note that #SoS_project quite naturally became the main platform for the implementation of measures on COVID-19 as part of the new support program for the region by the Global Fund. Existing partnerships with national partners, knowledge of the region and problems, understanding of financial gaps and opportunities, as well as work on budget advocacy at the national and municipal levels, the #SoS_project team will help strengthen the program and ensure its immediate launch and rapid implementation within 8 months. It is assumed that the services and terms of their provision will continue in the future.
Irina Kutsenko, a deputy of the Odessa City Council dealing with social issues in the city, received an international award #InYourPower. She became the first and so far the only government official nominated by civil society.
In an exclusive interview, she shared her story: about why she stayed on the sidelines for a long time and closed the OST sites and LGBT organizations; how she came to understand the importance of supporting the city’s HIV/TB program and the work of harm reduction programs, why it significantly helps to improve the health of citizens; about the experience of cooperation with non-governmental organizations, about building a dialogue with medical and security agencies; about conversations on inconvenient topics with deputies, as well as how to prioritize these issues on the municipal agenda and launch an information campaign that the city media will talk about.
So, now Irina Kutsenko is an active defender of community rights at the level of city authorities, a person with tremendous energy and extraordinary willpower. She continues to initiate changes in the city in relation to the most vulnerable groups of the population. She does everything to bring medical and social services in Odessa closer to the most advanced global approaches to harm reduction and combating HIV/TB . But it was not always like that.
“I was the deputy who closed the site of substitution therapy in my district, I collected signatures from people against gay culture and its spread in our city, that is, I was a deputy who conducted completely different activities,” says Irina. But after completing the course of the International Harm Reduction Academy, she began to actively dig into the problem: “I started reading in the Internet, listening to interviews of people, listening to life stories, and I understood that I was wrong!”.
Having changed her personal understanding of the problem and the ways to solve it, Irina gradually begins to cooperate with public organizations to make Odessa a safer city and people more socially protected.
“When representatives of a public organization came to me with a harm reduction project in the city, I already understood what they were talking about. At that moment, I realized that the NGO today knows more than any of the officials. At first I was just listening,” the deputy recalls.
The first task of Irina Kutsenko and members of the public was to find a common language, when everyone is doing their own thing. “We needed everyone – doctors, authorities, and public organizations – to unite into one common work,” she recalls. “Before, everyone was separate.”
The main step towards changing the situation in the city was the fact that disparate society representatives began to communicate. The dialogues took place with the participation of deputies, in the mayor’s office, with the necessary arguments and eloquent statistics, which were often hidden or uninformative for the authorities. As a result of this work, the mayor of the city supported the initiative, and today in Odessa steps are purposefully implemented within the framework of the already signed Paris Declaration. Odessa is also the first city in Ukraine to take on commitments under the Zero TB Cities initiative and is systematically moving towards overcoming the tuberculosis and HIV epidemics. In 2 years, this results from joint efforts and a radical increase in the effectiveness of tuberculosis treatment through the provision of treatment “at primary care” – from 52% to 71%.
However, as the mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov said, it was not easy for the city itself. The deputies debated heatedly during two sessions. The city authorities, in addition to local everyday problems, also need to tackle global challenges, in particular – to help medical workers in the fight against epidemics. After all, everyone is interested in this. “Mayors are assessed by the state of the city: roads, roofs, warmth, comfortable public space. This is all true. And we can achieve cleanliness in the cities, but with the spread of all dangerous infections in the world, God forbid, the time may come when there will be no one to walk along these roads,” the Odessa mayor emphasized.
Also, within the framework of the program, outpatient treatment of tuberculosis was introduced instead of in-patient model, and medical practitioners began to actively test visitors for HIV at polyclinics, educational institutions, and purchased a large number of tests. Thus, the city was able to increase the HIV detection rate and provided an opportunity to make treatment available for people.
“Of course, there are still many problems, but, step by step, we are changing the situation in the city,” says Irina Kutsenko. “We understand that the projects are coming to an end, but those declarative things that were signed by the mayor, and we, as deputies, will have to implement both in this convocation and in the next one, because this is a matter of the life of our citizens”.
00:01 – a short content of the interview, consisting of vivid statements of the charismatic deputy
00:58 – how it all began
02:13 – dialogue with the people who need help
04:05 – meeting of the fraction:
“Well, guys, I’m going to tell you something completely different now … We must legalize sex work and open substitution therapy sites. They thought I was crazy. ”
05:23 – dialogue with public organizations, the mayor and the Paris Declaration: Odessa approach
08:45 – HIV and TB, stigma and treatment initiation under a motivation program for health workers
11:28 – projects “go away”, but the issue of people’s lives remains on the agenda
11:45 – harm reduction services in municipal pharmacies in Odessa
12:40 – how the city HIV / TB program was developed for 65 million hryvnia
15:02 – life hacks and shame: how NGOs helped convince MPs to support the city’s HIV/TB programs
17:15 – “It’s all right with the Duke “: mural, media resonance and HIV testing
18:56 – creation of the second center of integrated social services for harm reduction in Ukraine (the first is in Sumy)
19:17 – new format of cooperation with law enforcement agencies
19:43 – “we are on the sidelines until they explain to us”
22:45 – “speak a simple language”
23:00 – how to calculate the budget of the city program
We are happy to invite you to the Conference for and about teens “Through virtual to real” that will take place on 15-17 of September 2020 online. The website of the Conference is http://conf2020.afew.org.ua/
🔴 What for?
We are holding this conference to ensure that teenagers have access to friendly, systematic and high quality services. We believe that the prevention of HIV/tuberculosis/hepatitis/sexually transmitted infections must be effective, correspond to international standards and be easy to get for every teenager.
🔴 For whom?
For adolescents and professionals working for and with adolescents
🔴 Who are the organizers?
ICF “AIDS Foundation East-West (AFEW-Ukraine) and ICF “Alliance for Public Health”.
🔴 Why online?
In times of global epidemic, access to information and learning should be safe. In addition, holding the Conference online will give a unique opportunity to participate for everyone!
🔴 In what language?
The official language of the Conference is Ukrainian. But we will also provide a translation of some of the sessions into English and Russian.
🔴 How will it all happen?
On the Conference website, which we will show you very soon, you will be able to learn about the program, speakers and schedule of sessions, to choose the most interesting ones and, after the registration, join all of the events. We will additionally inform you about the beginning of registration.
🔴 Why to register?
• Some of the events will be broadcast on our social networks, but only registered participants of the Conference will have access to all sessions and materials of the Conference.
• Registered participants of the Conference will be able to receive a certificate of participation.
• If you register, you will be able to participate in all discussions during the online sessions and continently communicate with other participants.
• There will be a raffle of prizes with promotional materials of the Conference as an additional bonus for everyone registered.
🔴 What is the hashtag of the conference?
Overview of the regional and national activities of the #SoS_project team in April-July 2020
Stay safe, stay strong and wear a mask / #WearAMask Challenge
IN THE NEW RELEASE
The #SoS_project regional partners team continues to advocate for the sustainability of HIV services at the regional and national level in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
We are introducing our sixth regional digest overview.
The main topic of the second quarter of 2020 was clearly COVID-19, human rights issues, the sustainability of public health programs in the countries of the region, and in the context of the response nongovernmental organizations appropriately accepted the challenges of the first wave of COVID-19.
A descriptive regional Community Initiatives Map was created with over 50 stories of NGOs confronting the challenges of the coronavirus crisis from March to the present day.
With the involvement of international experts, Practical Recommendations were developed for health systems in EECA countries on transforming a sustainable response to HIV/TB/HCV in the context of COVID-19.
A number of recommendations, reports, documents and publications were developed and published in the countries, which were relevant with a view to the challenges of the current time.
NGOs from EECA countries took up the challenge not only of HIV, but also of the first wave of COVID-19. But this is not enough.
“We cannot say that COVID-19 has become a quiet time for the workers of nongovernmental organizations that provide HIV services. On the contrary, the coronavirus has thrown the light on health issues in society, and the current period should definitely be a time to take actions. Enhanced actions in response to HIV. We must work faster, better, and, obviously, for less money, – saysTetiana Deshko, Director of the International Programs Department of the ICF “Alliance for Public Health”. – I’m sure it is high time to mobilize in order to achieve the key global community goals on AIDS”.
1,152 people with HIV, or 4.5%* of all people living with HIV in Kazakhstan stay in the penitentiary institutions of the Republic of Kazakhstan as of June 31, 2020. More than 1,000 people living with HIV in prisons receive antiretroviral therapy, which is 3.2 times more than in 2012.
Lyubov Vorontsova, Director of the #SoS_project in Kazakhstan, shared the experience of the Central Asian Association of PLHIV in the context of HIV and COVID-19 prevention and treatment in penitentiary institutions, as part of the online conference “Prisons in the context of COVID-19”.
“Preventive work in the context of health in the penitentiary system can be more effective only where close interaction and mutual understanding is established among all stakeholders: government agencies, penitentiary institutions and non-governmental organizations”, Lyubov Vorontsova says, “We work to ensure that people in custody have the opportunity to exercise their right to the highest attainable standard of physical and psychological health guaranteed by the state”.
She noted that the Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV (CAA PLHIV) has set a number of key tasks for HIV/TB prevention and support for PLHIV who are in prisons with the support of #SoS_project. The partners of CAA PLHIV in the penitentiary component in Kazakhstan are the Office of the Ombudsman in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), the ICF “Alliance for Public Health” and the Network (“100% Life”).
Key activities in the 2019-2021:
Improve the efficiency and accessibility of HIV services delivery (continuity from testing to care) in prisons.
Promote access to and respect for human rights in prisons.
Develop a Concept for achieving the 90-90-90 goals in the penitentiary system of Kazakhstan.
Apply the results obtained in Kazakhstan in other EECA countries.
According to Ms. Vorontsova, a number of strategically important activities were implemented during the first year of work.
Thus, she noted that in September 2019, #SoS_project partners from the Network “100% Life” and representatives of the Secretariat of the Ombudsman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine visited the country. They visited Kazakhstan to discuss the implementation of changes in the monitoring system for the observance of the right to health, as well as access to HIV treatment and prevention services. The main areas of cooperation and work were recorded at a joint meeting of CAA PLHIV, UNAIDS, CCM with the Ombudsman in Kazakhstan, and are being consistently implemented.
In the same 2019, a training workshop “Monitoring the observance of the right to health of persons in custody and convicts” was organized for members of the NPM of Kazakhstan. During the event, the participants developed a national algorithm for ensuring control over the observance of the right to health of people held in custody and convicted in the prisons of Kazakhstan.
In 2020, the pandemic slightly shifted the schedule of activities, but on June 11, a meeting of the Country Coordinating Committee was held, at which the NPM presented a report on the situation of persons with socially dangerous diseases in prisons. It is important to note that this was a joint initiative of the ALE Central Asian Association of People Living with HIV and the Office of the Ombudsman in Kazakhstan. The presentation itself was drafted by members of the NPM of Kazakhstan.
Key findings of the report:
– Convicts do not have access to all medical and social services available to other citizens;
– There are not enough clinicians in the penitentiary system to provide such access to health care
To date, CAA PLHIV, with the support of #SoS_project, the 100% l Life Network, have developed a worksheet for studying health care in prisons – as a monitoring tool for NPM members. Importantly, the worksheet has been expanded with a COVID-19 prevention access monitoring component. This document has been sent for approval to the NPM Coordination Council for further use as a permanent tool during monitoring visits to prisons.
Lyubov Vorontsova said, “We are preparing the module “Public participation in monitoring the right to health and access to HIV-related services in prisons” as a component of the online training on human rights and HIV in Kazakhstan. This module will include a component on monitoring access to prevention and treatment of COVID-19″.
She also noted that the project team has further plans:
– Development of recommendations for NPM in Kazakhstan to achieve the goals of the 90-90-90 strategy in the penitentiary system of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
– Creation of a working group to implement recommendations for NPM in Kazakhstan on achieving the 90-90-90 goals in the country’s penitentiary system, as well as the development of a Concept Note for the implementation of these recommendations.
– Implementation of the practical application of the monitoring tool (worksheet for studying health care in prisons) and the inclusion of the collected information in the report of the Ombudsman in Kazakhstan for 2021.
*Note that in total, according to estimates of early 2020, the number of people living with HIV in Kazakhstan was 31,378, and according to officially registered data, only 25,753 people know about their status.
We are proud that Alliance input in global and national hepatitis elimination process, its yearlong experience in HCV community based treatment, is demonstrated in Compendium amongst European region good practices in viral hepatitis response.
Alliance HCV treatment program “Scaling up Access to HCV Community Based Treatment for Key Populations” was launched in 2015. For 5 years 5000 patients were granted HCV diagnostic, treatment and social support for free. Presently with the support of the Global Fund 1800 HIV/HCV coinfected patients are getting HCV treatment, 90% out of them are PWID and their partners, 10% prison population. Till the end of 2020 additional 1500 HIV/HCV coinfected patients form KPs will get HCV basic diagnostic, treatment and social support services for free within Alliance program.
Following WHO recommendations, Alliance practices public health approach by using pan-genotyping DAA drugs, produced by leading international generic manufactures, and simplified HCV diagnostic. Every participant of Alliance HCV treatment program is granted social support. Education on HCV transmission ways and on safe behavior practices as well as three sessions on HCV reinfection prevention are integral to treatment process. Owing to case managers good practices and patients’ commitment, retention on treatment among program participants, who completed therapy this year, reached unprecedented 99,5%.
Alliance takes pride of setting trends in innovative HCV treatment with DAAs in Ukraine and making it accessible for the most in need populations; of implementing modern HCV diagnostic with GeneExpert machines directly on treatment sites; of getting the lowest for Ukraine price for DAA drugs; of 98% of treatment success. This year we started to implement cascade of HCV services by referring HIV prevention and harm reduction programs clients with positive results of HCV rapid tests to HCV treatment program.
WHO Compendium of good practices in the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region witnesses Alliance success in HCV control and encourages us for finding new approaches to equity in access to HCV diagnostic and treatment, bringing services closer to the patients on the way to hepatitis elimination and universal health coverage.
On occasion of World Hepatitis Day Alliance avails of this opportunity to present our deepest respect and gratitude to physicians and medical workers, to case managers and patients for taking responsibility and following healthy lifestyles!
Everybody can get HCV infection
HCV testing is the only way to get
HCV confirmative diagnostic and treatment
Viral Hepatitis C is curable
National Hotline on Viral Hepatitis: 0-800-50-33-10
In 2015, after many years of preparatory activities, Alliance for Public Health initiated a free program to treat hepatitis C virus (HCV). A year after, patients representing high-risk populaitons were the first in Ukraine to receive HCV treatment with current direct-acting antivirals (before HCV treatment was based on interferons, with multiple side effects, treatment interruptions and cure rates not exceeding 50%). In 2017, for the first time in our country Alliance initiated HCV screening, testing and treatment services to be provided to the first several dozens of inmates in penal institutions.
HCV treatment success rate in Alliance programs was up to 98%!
In 2019, with support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Alliance procured 3,740 new HCV treatment courses. According to the WHO recommendations, we use generic direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), pangenotypic (universal) treatment regimens and simplified diagnostics approach. Only this year, over one thousand patients successfully completed their treatment, with the adherence to treatment reaching the record level of 99.5%!
Today, our program provides access to HCV treatment to the key population members with HIV/HCV co-infection from all over Ukraine, including temporarily uncontrolled areas as well as inmates in 13 institutions of the State Criminal-Executive Service of Ukraine. Only in 2020, we expanded treatment coverage to include Zakarpattia, Luhansk, Donetsk, Ternopil, Volyn and Chernivtsi regions.
Even with strict restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, project case managers support every client, successfully ensuring uninterrupted therapy and high treatment adherence. The unique experience of preventing reinfections in the time of lockdown and creative approaches to knowledge sharing helped us to develop an awareness-raising brochure, containing answers to the most popular questions, which patients ask when talking to social workers.
In five years of Alliance HCV treatment program implementation:
5,000 patients have received or are currently receiving treatment
There was an evolution of treatment from interferon-based to current pangenotypic/universal regimens
Treatment and main diagnostics are provided to patients free of charge
The procurement cost of direct-acting antivirals (provided to patients free of charge) has been reduced from USD 900 to the lowest price for Ukraine – USD 75 per standard 12-week treatment course
A simplified approach to HCV diagnostics has been introduced
For the first time, HCV diagnostics is done using GeneXpert systems directly in the treatment facilities of Ukraine
For the first time, regional laboratory centers of the Ministry of Health are involved in HCV diagnostics
A model has been introduced to educate patients from the key populations on the routes of HCV transmission, safe behavior, prevention of reinfections and its efficiency has been proven
A cascade of services is provided by referring prevention program clients with positive results of HCV rapid tests to the treatment program
Cascade of services is provided to the patients in the penitentiary system
100% monitoring of treatment quality is implemented
For the first time, a study on the rates of HCV reinfection among successfully cured key population members has been carried out
Sustainability of the program has been ensured with multiple sources of funding
Today, on the World Hepatitis Day, we would like to sincerely thank doctors, case managers and patients for their commitment and participation in the Alliance treatment program and for their invaluable contribution to elimination of viral hepatitis in Ukraine.
Hepatitis treatment program implemented by Alliance has been included in the Compendium of good practices in the health sector response to viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region.
The WHO data show that Ukraine is the only country in the European region, which has been included into the list of 28 countries with the highest hepatitis burden in the world. It is estimated that up to 5% of people in Ukraine are infected with hepatitis C, which totals one to two million Ukrainian citizens who require treatment.
The surveillance system existing in Ukraine as well as the limited access to diagnostics and treatment services do not allow getting accurate cumulative data on the burden of this disease. Meanwhile, there number of people who know about their HCV status is dozens times lower: according to the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in January 2020 the estimated number of people with HCV in Ukraine was 1,342,418 people. Only 87,269 people receive medical follow-up services (6.5% of the estimated number).
As the disease is often asymptomatic (“silent infection”) and left without treatment, chronic hepatitis C is the main driver of hepatic cirrhosis and primary liver cancer. Peculiarities of the clinical HCV progression lead to its late diagnosis, often at the terminal stages of hepatic disease.
In November 2019, Ukraine joined the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis by approving the National Strategy on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis until 2030. Goals of implementing the National Strategy until 2030:
90% of new viral hepatitis cases will be prevented;
90% of people with viral hepatitis will be diagnosed and will know about their status;
up to 90% of patients will receive treatment, which will be effective and will lead to full recovery (for HCV) or effective control of the disease (for HBV).