In the challenging context of COVID-19 pandemic, Alliance for Public Health together with its partners continues efficiently responding to the needs of the vulnerable populations. In particular, urgent procurement was organized to provide all the implementing partners facing the highest risks as they continue to provide services to the key populations with the basic personal protection equipment (PPE). At the request of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, such equipment was provided to the staff members of penal institutions and to the inmates who continue receiving opioid substitution treatment and hepatitis C therapy during the pandemic. Despite the shortage of PPE in the country, the need to comply with all the procurement procedures while many engaged institutions and organizations work remotely, we were able to respond to this vital request of our partners quickly and efficiently!

Currently, institutions of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine have been provided with the following PPE:

– Alcohol wipes (70%, 30Х65 mm) – 500 thousand;

– Non-sterile medical nitrile gloves (IGAR 7-8) – 5.6 thousand;

– Antibacterial fluid for hands disinfection (100, 150 and 500 ml – 578 bottles, 75 liters in total)

– EconormDEZ Classic disinfectant (1,000 ml) – 10 bottles;

– Disposable protective face masks – 51 thousand.

The total cost of the PPE delivered is UAH 981,000.

In 2019, Alliance with support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other international partners contributed to the launch of the first pilot OST site in the penitentiary system of Ukraine. Currently, about 20 inmates receive OST services at this site. Besides, Alliance has been supporting a hepatitis C treatment program in penal institutions since 2018. In 2017, Alliance with the Global Fund support initiated comprehensive activities aimed at hepatitis C screening, diagnostics and treatment in the health facilities of the State Penitentiary Service. In 2020, Alliance provides hepatitis C diagnostics and treatment services to 350 inmates and other detainees with HIV/HCV co-infection. In addition, 250 people who receive treatment courses provided by the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine, are provided with hepatitis C diagnostic services before treatment initiation and 12 weeks after treatment completion to assess the efficiency of antiviral treatment.

Besides, in the nearest future Alliance will provide the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine with 3,000 rapid tests for hepatitis C screening among prison staff and inmates. The Alliance team highly appreciates its longstanding partnership with the Health Center of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine and would like to extend its gratitude to its representatives for their constructive approach and constant support.