Three Keys to Ukraine’s TB Challenge.

“Without a doubt, the single greatest challenge — that is also an opportunity — is Ukraine’s health policy. With proposed reforms for deregulation and decentralization, there is a great opportunity for Ukraine to tackle the TB challenge with the full support of the government."

STbCU Chief of Party Kartlos Kankadze

Implement evidence-based interventions

Each day, 84 Ukrainians are diagnosed with TB, and many more are left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to low-quality laboratory diagnostics. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best.

For health projects worldwide, the World Health Organization offers global guidelines to ensure the appropriate use of evidence for health interventions. Through STbCU, HIV-positive Ukrainians now have access to a simple survey based on these guidelines that is designed to help identify TB symptoms — one of the most efficient methods for conducting regular TB screening among people living with HIV.

“This was an evidence-based intervention that we helped develop,” said Dr. Kankadze. “Part of the challenge is getting health care providers and the health system to adhere to what are the best practices. Being able to integrate a WHO best practice into the delivery of health services is a major accomplishment. 

Support proposed health reforms for deregulation and decentralization

Ukraine is in the midst of a substantial change in health policy. The Association Agreement of Ukraine with the European Union that was ratified on September 16, 2014 outlines a framework for Ukraine to align its laws more closely with the European Union. Included in that alignment will be changes to decentralize and deregulate the Ukrainian health system. These changes are expected to be outlined in a roadmap that will be finished by December 2014.

“Without a doubt, the single greatest challenge — that is also an opportunity — is Ukraine’s health policy. With proposed reforms for deregulation and decentralization, there is a great opportunity for Ukraine to tackle the TB challenge with the full support of the government,” said Dr. Kankadze.

Having a legal framework that will reform health care and medicine registration for TB and HIV patients will make it easier for them to receive proper care and treatment. Projects with a mandate to help Ukrainians living with TB and HIV will also see the benefits.

“We are delivering impact with confidence. Our project ends in 2017, and we are confident that we can deliver the impact we promised that is within our control. Reforms to the health system will greatly help Ukraine,” said Dr. Kankadze.