Double victory in Sumy
On September 15, 2017, Sumy Regional Council approved two important decisions to control socially dangerous diseases. For the first time in Ukraine, modern antiviral drugs for the treatment of viral hepatitis C and mobile ambulance services for HIV testing were purchased using the local budget. This is a great victory of local activists, which will become a precedent for local authorities in other regions of the country.
Deputies allocated 1 million 80 thousand hryvnias for hepatitis C drugs and tests for the Sumy Regional Infectious Diseases Hospital. The regional programme for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of viral hepatitis was adopted in 2012, but it has been not funded for several following years.
“This programme is intended to help in treatment of vulnerable groups of people, as well as those people who can not afford such treatment themselves,” said Tetiana Golovko, the deputy chairman of the Sumy Regional Council. “This amount is not enough to cover the region needs, but this is the first step to provide people with proper treatment.”
The estimated price of one hepatitis C treatment course is about 30 thousand hryvnias. Due to the financing of the regional programme, at least 30 courses of treatment will be purchased for Sumy residents. In addition, this year the Sumy Region will receive 56 courses of viral C hepatitis treatment for patients with co-infection from the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH.
The State Targeted Social Programme for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis is also implemented in the region. The people waiting in line at the regional haematological centre can be participants of this programme.
Allocation of funds to the Sumy Regional Centre for AIDS Prevention and Control to purchase mobile ambulant services for HIV testing of vulnerable groups in the Sumy Region is another important decision supported by the deputies of the regional council. This is the first purchase of such a kind in Ukraine.
Thanks to this decision, the preventive services coverage of the most vulnerable to HIV population groups will be increased in Sumy and the four district centres. This event is a logical continuation of the denationalization of the social services provision introduced in 2016.
In the near future, the Sumy Regional Centre for AIDS Prevention and Control will purchase services through the Prozorro system. This time the purchase of services will be carried out within the regional social programme to combat HIV/AIDS for the period 2015-2018.
“For the last year, there have been tremendous changes in the relations between local authorities and non-governmental organizations, in particular those ones which work in the social sphere. We are full partners now; we are on the same page because we have a clear common vision of ways to solve important social problems,” says the head of the NGO “Club Shans (Chance)” Oleksiy Zagrebelny.
In addition, Oleksiy Zagrebelny notes that now there are revolutionary processes in the Sumy region that destroy the templates for attracting resources of local budgets for programmes and services in Ukraine that have been implemented exclusively using the resources of international charitable organizations for more than 10 years.