WHO experts have studied the successful Hepatitis B process
Meetings took place on June 7 and 8, 2017 in Kyiv.
The assessment mission on overcoming viral hepatitis problems attended Ukraine. The specialists of the World Health Organization and the CDC (U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) analyzed the efforts on response to viral hepatitis epidemic in Ukraine to provide their recommendations on the development of the national plan to overcome the epidemic.
On June 7, 2017 the WHO experts visited the office of the charitable organization “100% of life. Kyiv region”. Within the framework of this visit experts met with the Executive Director Lada Bulah, project coordinators and social workers.
During the meeting the experience of social support for the treatment of hepatitis and co-infection of HIV/hepatitis in PLWH was discussed, as well as the work of women’s support group and viral hepatitis treatment support group (project coordinator V. Varyga), the importance of ensuring access to HCV treatment in Ukraine for PLWH and risk groups, overcoming stigma In the treatment of HCV, the organization of medical care.
The All-Ukrainian Network of PLWH, as an organization having 16 years of experience in HIV services and the protection of patients’ rights, has achieved considerable progress in the hepatitis epidemic response in Ukraine.
Together with international partners — EQUIP, USAID, CDC — the Network of PLWH in 2016-started the implementation of an innovative project to eradicate hepatitis in Ukraine
Due to the Network’s advocacy efforts, in 2016 the price of modern hepatitis C drugs for Ukraine has decreased from $1,350 to $750 per course. The Network initiated and achieved the adoption of the National Hepatitis Response Program.
“We were literally yelling about the problem of viral hepatitis in the country many years ago, when nobody cared about it. As a patient organization advocating for the interests of people living with HIV, we have a great deal of personal experience and considerable expertise in hepatitis response. We introduced the experts to the findings and are convinced that our experience and resources will be used to develop a national plan to combat the epidemic”, said Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of the Network of PLWH. The plans of the Network, which we introduced to the experts, include the deployment of the network of “100% of life” healthcare centers, hepatitis diagnostics and prevention programs and community level treatment.
WHO expert Martin Donoho, WHO Europe, said, “HIV services provided by NGOs in Ukraine are demonstrating outstanding performance and will form the foundation for the efforts aimed at overcoming the hepatitis problem”.
Hepatitis in Ukraine are among the most prevalent infectious diseases by the scale and burden, together with the flu and the respiratory infections, while being much more dangerous. 57% of cases of liver cirrhosis and 78% of cases of primary liver cancer are due to the influence of hepatitis B or C viruses. According to the WHO, in Ukraine approximately 3% of the population have HCV, which is 1.17 million people. In some groups the risk of infection is as high as 40-60%.