September 26, 2018

Alliance project to become a TRENDSETTER in hepatitis С response in Ukraine

On September 26, 2018, Alliance for Public Health held a final meeting of the partners involved in implementation of the project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine” to present the results of the most large-scale program of hepatitis C treatment in Ukraine. Speeches were delivered by representatives of the Ministry of Health (MoH), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Center of the MoH of Ukraine, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the course of interactive discussions, doctors and representatives of civil society organizations shared their experience in treatment and support of the project patients. Success stories of the happy patients cured thanks to the project moved all those present at the meeting.

Until recently, treatment of hepatitis C-infection was not on the donors’ list of priorities: none of the international donors funded hepatitis C treatment, while substantial funding was allocated for HIV treatment. However, with no hepatitis C treatment available thousands of members of key populations were doomed to death. The main obstacle for funding was an exorbitant price of the modern therapy – in United States it was as high as USD 86,000 per three-month course.
However, Alliance for Public Health was able to turn the tide in 2014. Thanks to our persistent and targeted efforts, we managed to ensure the price of hepatitis C treatment at 1% of its cost in the United States. For Ukraine, it was a tipping point in hepatitis C-infection treatment – by purchasing the first consignments of drugs at USD 300 per pack, Alliance set the bar for further drastic decrease of public procurement prices. Today, this price remains unchanged – one course of treatment with original drugs (for 3 months) per person costs the Ukrainian government about USD 900. This price is one of the lowest in the world to purchase modern drugs for hepatitis C treatment. At the meeting Michael Martin from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that in the United States one tablet of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) costs one thousand US dollars.

The unique hepatitis C treatment project implemented by Alliance was highly praised by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Dr Oleksiy Bobryk from the WHO underlined that Alliance was the first to build the foundation for further scale-up of hepatitis C treatment at the national level.
It was Alliance who started using highly effective treatment of hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals within its project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine” when almost nobody in Ukraine heard about it. Alliance was the first to introduce not only Sovaldi, but even a more innovative drug – Harvoni – within this project. The advantage of those drugs is that they are well tolerated by patients and have almost no side effects, while demonstrating very high treatment success rates! Alliance used those innovative drugs to treat high-priority populations: members of the most marginalized groups with complicated forms of hepatitis C-infection.

2,162 patients from among the key populations received hepatitis C treatment with direct-acting antivirals throughout 2015-2018. The biggest achievement of the project was a high treatment success rate at 95%! Those incredible results have been recognized at the international level. Before, treatment success rate of the old regimens used in Ukraine for hepatitis C treatment did not exceed 50%.
Most of the drugs used to treat 2,162 patients were donated by Gilead.
Besides, an international advisory board consisting of globally recognized experts was established within the project “Scaling up Accessible and Effective HCV Treatment Through a Community-Based Treatment Model for Most Vulnerable Populations in Resource-Constrained Ukraine.” Those experts were involved in the development of the project guidelines, which are currently used as the basis for the current national protocol of hepatitis C treatment.
In 2017, for the first time in Ukraine prisoners also got access to hepatitis C treatment. Within the program, Alliance successfully treated 50 patients in penal settings.

“This is the first time we use this new and unusual term – trendsetter – to describe this project of Alliance. The project for the first time allowed to access innovative treatment with direct-acting antivirals – Sovaldi and Harvoni, reduce the price for modern drugs, implement such a large-scale hepatitis C treatment program in Ukraine, ensure access to the therapy in penal settings, and achieve an incredible treatment success rate of 95%! Those are the trends, which the government not only can, but also must take over and develop! The Alliance project gave us all the evidence necessary to approve a strategic action plan to eliminate hepatitis in Ukraine,” sums up the project successes the Executive Director of Alliance for Public Health Andriy Klepikov.

Alliance would like to thank all those involved in project implementation: Public Health Center and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, State Penitentiary Service, WHO, CDC, The Global Fund, Gilead Sciences, Yale University as well as all infectious disease doctors, partner organizations and patients. This is our joint victory!

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September 26, 2018

Ukraine reports at the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on tuberculosis in New York

Revolutionary changes in the fight against Tuberculosis in Ukraine were presented in a  joint country document, which you can find below

Alliance for Public Health has joined the country’s document and contributed to the creation of this documents with materials, in particular :

-Improving the MDR TB treatment outcomes (from 40% cured in routine practices to 79 % in pilot settings)

-New models of health care funding that stimulate the transition on TB treatment in outpatient settings and the introduction of a pay-for-performance mechanism (motivation payment)

-Due to the introduction of early detection methods, diagnosis time of MDR TB has shortened from 35 to 2 days

-New medicines for TB treatment : innovative anti-TB medicines (including Bedaquiline) are registered and being used

-A newly created Parliamentary Platform to Fight Tuberculosis

Analytical materials on TB (ukr.)

Analytical and statistical guide (ukr.)

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September 25, 2018

Alliance Call for TB Strategic Priorities

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, in New York City the UN High Level Meeting on TB (UN HLM)  will be held for the first time in which the Executive Director of  the Alliance for Public Health participating as a member  of the national delegation on behalf of  civil society organizations.

UN HLM  is an unique opportunity to present the achievements, discuss current challenges, and create opportunities for actual implementation of the political commitments undertaken by the countries

Taking this opportunity International HIV/AIDS Alliance, whose global network/family includes the Alliance for Public Health, calls on world leaders to prioritized involvement and effective participation of civil society and communities in the fight against tuberculosis.

Full text ‘’ International HIV/AIDS Alliance Call for TB Strategic Priorities”, which was signed by 35 organizations from  dozens of countries.

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September 24, 2018

The Global Fund has supported the expansion of the regional project to 14 countries!

On September 21, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria supported the request for additional funding of a new regional project worth $2.5 million.

Thanks to this Global Fund decision, the project “Sustainability of services for key populations in EECA region” includes now 5 more countries in the South-Eastern Europe – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia.

Thanks to increased funding, the project will strengthen the role of networks of key communities throughout the region of SEAC.

“The Global Fund will finance project ‘Sustainability of services for key populations in EECA region’ in the maximum possible amount – USD 13 million. The project will be implemented simultaneously in the maximum number of countries – 14 countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region! There was not such an ambitious and large-scale project in EECA region before. The next three years will require a lot of efforts from all of us. However, this is exactly what we need!” – said Andriy Klepikov, the executive director of the Alliance for Public Health which is the main recipient of the new regional project.

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September 20, 2018

Ukraine has held a unique training on working with transgenders

From September 17-19, Alliance for Public Health organized at the first time in Ukraine a training – “Motivational counseling and involvement in HIV prevention projects for transgender people” in Kyiv, for social workers working with transgender people (TG).

For the first time, social workers, psychologists, TG activists and volunteers from non-governmental organizations met to discuss the peculiarities of work and counseling transgender. During the training participants discussed the needs of the target group and, unfortunately, it turned out that the topic of personal health is not the first in the queue of TG needs, and therefore needs to be popularized. During the training discussed the messages that were made clear for TG, the channels for disseminating information on project services, and social workers worked out counseling skills.

The ethical principles of work, the issue of tolerant and impartial attitude, were subjects of all three days of training. The trainers of this training were Svetlana Haiduk from Alliance for Public Health and the coordinator of the NGO “Health and Protection of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender” (HPLGBT) Igor Medvid.

The training was organized within the framework of the project “Investing for Impact Against Tuberculosis and HIV”, which realized by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Transgender people are a new target group of HIV prevention and treatment programs. In 2018, with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria 10 NGOs are implementing TG prevention projects. During 6 months of 2018, 697 transgender recipients received the basic package of services, 572 TG were tested for HIV infection.

 

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September 17, 2018

Healthy Ukraine are healthy cities, international experts say

On September 13-14, The City Health International conference 2018 held in Odesa organized by the Alliance for Public Health together with the City of Odessa, AFEW International (The Netherlands) and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

More than 250 delegates from over 30 countries assembled to exchange best practices in public healthcare and on city health issues related to social, economic, and demographic changes. Among them are municipal workers, researchers, civic activists, and politicians from a variety of countries.

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, UNAIDS Special Adviser on HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C in Eastern Europe and Central Asia described the global problem of healthcare in cities thus: “HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are important issues in the region of EUCA. One of the ways in which the world struggles with these diseases is to use the opportunities of civil society due to its dialogue and work with at-risk groups. In Ukraine, there are very powerful organizations – the Public Health Alliance and 100% Life. Hence, it’s quite good that now, thanks to this conference, there is an additional opportunity to introduce changes at the municipal level.”

At the end of the event, the director of Knowledge Action Change, Peddy Costal, presented the Paolo Pertika Award. The Paolo Pertica Award is given for exceptional achivements in the work in criminal justice context, in relation to drug and alcohol users, which can be shown to have a positive impact for both individual offenders and the community in general. This year’s award was given to EECA representative Dumitru Laticevschi to mark his contribution to the development of harm reduction programs in Moldova. Thanks to his work, needle exchange and opioid substitution therapy became available in prisons of Moldova which is now serving as a best model for all EECA region.

Andriy Klepikov, the executive director of the Alliance for Public Health international charity foundation, added: “Healthy cities are not those where many hospitals abound, they are cities where healthy people live and whose residents care about one another. This conference is important for Ukraine because changes can’t happen overnight throughout the country. Change must be done gradually and it should start with cities for they must solve their residents’ health problems.

Event organizers Andriy Klepikov from the Alliance for Public Health and Peddy Costal from Knowledge Action Change handed over the baton to the Liverpool (United Kingdom) and Melbourne (Australia). This is where the City Health International conference will take place in 2019.

For the Odessa citizens and guests of the city next to the venue of the conference also set up a healthy life area where all interested could get tested for diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, as well listen to lectures on healthy lifestyles and recreation with relatives and friends.

Myroslava Ulyanina, host of the reality show “Weighted and Happy,” gave attendees the following instructions: “I am happy that now jogging is en vogue. As well as eating healthy organic products and monitoring one’s bodily health. Therefore, let’s not follow the old, outdated traditions that proclaimed: “being sick is normal while growing weaker with age is an inevitability”. Let’s be trendsetters and promote new ones on health! At any age and in any city! After all, only a healthy person can be successful.”

The organization of the partnership zone was made possible thanks to the support of “OraSure Technologies, Inc.”, “Synevo”, AHF Ukraine, Red Cross representative offices in Odessa, FAST organizations, Elena Pinchuk Foundation, Sport Life, Drugstore organizations , The Odesa Charitable Foundation “Road to the House”, the Charity Fund “Sunflower”, the All-Ukrainian Women’s Jewish Organization “Project Kesher”, the religious mission “Caritas-Spes-Odesa”, the public movement “Faith, Hope, Love”, Youth Development Center, Charitable Foundation “Era of mercy”.

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September 14, 2018

Kyiv, Odesa, and Dnipro take AIDS epidemic in Ukraine under control

The trend of harmful diseases spreading in urbanized areas has manifested itself throughout the world. Ukraine is no exception. Every fourth person living with HIV in Ukraine lives in a city with a population of 1 million or more: Kyiv, Odesa and Dnipro. Yet at the same time, cities have the concentrated resources through which it is possible to solve urgent health issues, to exchange information and seek solutions.

Urban health strategies are key to the wellbeing and health of citizens. That is why big cities have begun uniting to share experiences and successful practices in solving social issues and tackling dangerous diseases. In Kyiv and Odesa, in 2016 and 2017, respectively, they joined the Fast Track Cities initiative aimed at halting the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Next on the list is Dnipro.

Already a year after joining the Paris Declaration, the number of people who became registered and started HIV treatment increased by 30% in Kyiv. Odesa almost achieved a similar result in 2017, with the number of patients seeking treatment rising by 21%.

On September, 13 in Odesa, during the work of the City Health International Conference 2018 deputy mayors of three Ukrainian cities exchanged recipe for success.

The key to success is the leadership of local authorities and the mayor directly. Inasmuch as the initiative are mayors of the most influential cities in the world. Kyiv has started a municipal AIDS fighting program and has provided all the requisite resources for its implementation. Another important point is the joint work and responsibility of the public sector, as well non-governmental and patient organizations in achieving their goals. We resolve all the urgent issues together and co-chair in the City Coordinating Council on HIV. I would like to note that Kyiv was distinguished and recognized as a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS at the International AIDS Conference held two months ago in Amsterdam,” – said Mykola Povoroznyk, the first deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration.

Odesa also boasts of own achievements in the fight against dangerous diseases – increased financing towards problems related to HIV infections and tuberculosis. “This year, we approved a city program, having allocated 66 million hryvnias for three years to fight these diseases. This is of the upmost importance at a time when international donors are cutting back activity in Ukraine,”- Odesa deputy mayor Svitlana Bedreha said.

Presently, the success of the nation’s response to AIDS lies with big cities,” – said Roman Hailevych, UNAIDS director in Ukraine. “Indeed, this isn’t only my opinion, this is one of the priorities of the Joint UN Program on AIDS involving 12 UN agencies that UNAIDS comprises and operate in Ukraine. We expect that once Dnipro joins the city-leader initiative that we will have realistic chances to eradicate the AIDS epidemic as a public health challenge in Ukraine”.

On September 13-14, the seventh City Health International conference took place in Odesa. The Alliance for Public Health organized the event with support from the AFEW International (The Netherlands), the Odesa City Administration and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

Established in 2012, the Health in the City conference draws attention to the health and wellbeing of people and studies the use of alcohol and drugs, healthy eating, safe sexual behavior and the prevention of  violence, as well as factors that impact the health of urban residents.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Healthy Cities in an Age of Change.”

Additional information can be found at: https://cityhealthinternational.org

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September 14, 2018

City Health International conference 2018 launches in Odesa

The City Health International conference 2018 started on September, 13 in Odesa organized by the Alliance for Public Health together with the City of Odessa, AFEW International (The Netherlands) and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

More than 250 delegates from over 30 countries assembled to exchange best practices in public healthcare and on city health issues related to social, economic, and demographic changes. Among them are municipal workers, researchers, civic activists, and politicians from a variety of countries.

For the Odessa citizens and guests of the city next to the venue of the conference also set up a healthy life area where all interested could get tested for diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, as well listen to lectures on healthy lifestyles and recreation with relatives and friends.

Odesa Mayor Henadiy Trukhanov greeted the delegates with the following words at the conference opening: “I’m glad to welcome you to our hospitable and sunny city! I am confident that the 2018 Health in the City conference will be a great event for our region. We in Odesa believe that problems are not solved by themselves. And for this reason, I am glad that, based on the initiative of our partners, we have joined the struggle to overcome the city’s healthcare challenges amid rapid urbanization. Only by combining the efforts of authorities, civil society, professionals and scientists, can we attain a better quality of life for people. We want 2018 Health in the City to become an added benefit to develop our programs, including those that are being implemented jointly with the police. We must change the public perception of these problems in terms of care, therapy and treatment. I am grateful and do not get tired of thanking our Ukrainian and foreign partners who are working to resolve these problems.”

Andriy Klepikov, the executive director of the Alliance for Public Health international charity foundation, added: “Healthy cities are not those where many hospitals abound, they are cities where healthy people live and whose residents care about one another. This conference is important for Ukraine because changes can’t happen overnight throughout the country. Change must be done gradually and it should start with cities for they must solve their residents’ health problems. This year’s international conference, 2018 Health in the City, taking place in Odesa, is unique its kind because it is bilingual and accessible not only to English, but also to Ukrainian speakers, for the first time in all the years it has been held. Additionally, the city’s residents also can attend the event because when we talk about the city we cannot without the involvement of its inhabitants. Thue, in addition to the main venue, a partnership zone at Shevchenko Park is open where Odesa residents can listen to free lectures on health in the Open Lecture section, undergo rapid testing for diabetes and infectious diseases, as well as receive medical consultation”.

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, UNAIDS Special Adviser on HIV, Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C in Eastern Europe and Central Asia described the global problem of healthcare in cities thus: “HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis are important issues in the region of EUCA. One of the ways in which the world struggles with these diseases is to use the opportunities of civil society due to its dialogue and work with at-risk groups. In Ukraine, there are very powerful organizations – the Public Health Alliance and 100% Life. Hence, it’s quite good that now, thanks to this conference, there is an additional opportunity to introduce changes at the municipal level.”

Myroslava Ulyanina, host of the reality show “Weighted and Happy,” gave attendees the following instructions: “I am happy that now jogging is en vogue. As well as eating healthy organic products and monitoring one’s bodily health. Therefore, let’s not follow the old, outdated traditions that proclaimed: “being sick is normal while growing weaker with age is an inevitability”. Let’s be trendsetters and promote new ones on health! At any age and in any city! After all, only a healthy person can be successful.”

The yearly Health in the City conference, founded in 2012, recognizes the challenges of urbanization and focuses on the health and well-being of people. The project addresses complicated issues related to metropolitan areas, including alcohol and drug consumption, healthy eating, safe sexual behavior and the prevention of violence, as well as factors affecting the health of city residents.

The organization of the partnership zone was made possible thanks to the support of “OraSure Technologies, Inc.”, “Synevo”, AHF Ukraine, Red Cross representative offices in Odessa, FAST organizations, Elena Pinchuk Foundation, Sport Life, Drugstore organizations , The Odesa Charitable Foundation “Road to the House”, the Charity Fund “Sunflower”, the All-Ukrainian Women’s Jewish Organization “Project Kesher”, the religious mission “Caritas-Spes-Odesa”, the public movement “Faith, Hope, Love”, Youth Development Center, Charitable Foundation “Era of mercy”.

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September 13, 2018

The Icelandic model of prevention among young people will be implemented in Ukraine

11-12 of September, 2018, in the frame of the “Fast-track TB/HIV responses for key populations in EECA cities” and under cooperation between Executive Committee of Odesa City State Administration, ICF “Alliance for Public Health” and CBO “Center for Youth Development” Odesa have conducted the seminar “The Icelandic Model for Substance Use Prevention among Youth” under the name Planet Youth  for the specialists of education institutions, police and CBO partners.

Seminar was conducted by the Director of The Icelandic Center for Social Research and Analysis Jon Sigfusson and Dr.Adrian Sarbu.

The coaches introduced for the participants of the event with the Icelandic model for the prevention of substance use among young people, which has led to an almost double decrease in the number of adolescents who smoke and drink alcohol in Iceland from 1998 to 2007. The Model is based on the three “logical” pillars of success: it is evidence based; it is conducted in communities; strengthening the dialogue between policy makers, practitioners and researches.

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September 11, 2018

International conference about health in the cities will be held in Ukraine

On September 13-14, 2018, the city of Odesa will host City Health International conference for the first time in Central and Eastern Europe. This is the seventh event dedicated to the public health issues in urban areas, which is hosted by the Alliance for Public Health (Ukraine), AFEW International (the Netherlands), City of Odessa (Ukraine) and Knowledge Action Change (United Kingdom).

The theme for City Health International 2018 is ‘Developing healthy responses in a time of change’. This includes changes in political and societal norms, as well as changes in perceptions and expectations within communities. It also provides scope to tackle the important principle of inclusion, with regard to marginalized individuals and groups.

In today’s world dynamics we must see health in politics in the first place. Here in Ukraine we deal more and more with health challenges of maintaining health in non-governmental controlled territories, finding health solutions for internally displaced people, supporting health of soldiers; Europe is looking for effective solutions for health of migrants. In this diversity of challenges healthy cities are best placed to become hubs of stability. This is what this conference will be speaking about,” – says Andrey Klepikov, Executive director of Alliance for Public Health.

More than 300 delegates from around the world will gather to examine how, in the increased urbanization of society, cities respond to changing populations, changing economic and environmental pressures and adapt to changing health behaviours.

CHI 2018 is an ‘inclusive’ conference, with presenters and participants including NGOs, community projects, advocacy groups, as well as urban and health planners, academics, policy makers and those who deliver services and interventions.

Program of the event: https://cityhealthinternational.org/2018/programme/programme

List of speakers: https://cityhealthinternational.org/2018/programme/speakers-bios/david-wilson

Registration for press: https://goo.gl/forms/i5sJac3Em99GAJLh2

Alliance for Public Health is the International charitable foundation founded in 2000 in Ukraine. It became a leading non-governmental professional organization making a significant impact on the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, viral hepatitis and other socially dangerous diseases in Ukraine. In cooperation with state partners and civil society organizations, it provides financial and technical support to programs, covering over 250,000 representatives of most vulnerable populations: the highest such coverage indicator in Europe. For more information on Alliance please visit http://aph.org.ua/en/about-alliance/

 

 

 

 

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