A scientific-practical conference on the fight and control of tuberculosis in Ukraine was held in Kiev
The three-day conference was held by the Institute of Phthisiology and Pulmonology named after F.G. Yanovsky in cooperation with the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine under the “Stop TB in Ukraine” Program with the support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The main themes of the three-day conference included the analysis of new methods of detection and prevention of tuberculosis, the introduction of international advanced approaches to TB diagnosis and treatment. Particular attention was given to the treatment of childhood TB, which is one of the priorities of Ukraine in the fight against this dangerous disease.
The conference opening was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the deputies of the relevant committees of Verkhovna Rada, the representatives of the Foundation for Development of Ukraine and the World Health Organization, as well as by famous scientists and physicians whose work is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. The conference was opened by the Head of the Health Care Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Tatiana Bakhteyeva, the Deputy Minister of Health Alexander Tolstanov, the Head of the State Service for combating HIV/AIDS and other socially dangerous diseases Tatiana Alexandrina, Director of the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine Anatoliy Zabolotny and the representative of WHO in Ukraine Nikoloz Nasidze.
According to the People’s Deputy of Ukraine Tatiana Bakhteyeva annually tuberculosis is detected in 8-9 million people and every year two million people die from it. Although the official statistics in recent years indicates the improvement of indicators, the situation remains tense. “In our country every hour 4 people get infected and 1 person dies. For 15 years we have lost 150,000 Ukrainians due to the death from tuberculosis”, - Ms. Bakhteeva accentuated the disappointing statistics.
At the same time, Tatiana Bakhteyeva stressed that Ukraine has adopted new standards for TB control.
“This year the official start has been given to the new roadmap with the support of the WHO TB control for 2011-2015. It sets new indicators to be achieved by 2015. It is necessary to reduce the incidence of tuberculosis, to achieve the definitive detection of tuberculosis, as well as the cure of 75% of patients with tuberculosis”, - she said.
“I would like to note that the Global Fund for the first time approved Ukraine’s application for the funding of activities to combat tuberculosis, which is very important for the expansion of our cooperation. And, of course, this is the great merit of the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine, which served as the Principal Recipient of the Global Fund TB component and put great effort to obtain it”, - said Tatiana Bakhteyeva, stressing that the Foundation has proved to be a strong partner which can effectively use the money to fight tuberculosis.
In addition, Ms. Bakhteeva said that this year comes to an end the All-Ukrainian TB Control Program for 2007-2011. In her view, the Ministry of Health should already consider the submission to the Verkhovna Rada of the new TB Control Program, which is particularly important in the context of development of the budget for 2012.
The Deputy Minister of Health Alexander Tolstanov also stressed the importance of this conference. In his view, it will help not only to share the innovative technologies with colleagues, but also will enable the more efficient use of practices of TB control in the regions. Mr. Tolstanov noted that today the fight against MDR TB is especially important. In this regard, the Deputy Minister offered to hold every two weeks the thematic meetings with community organizations and representatives of the international sector to more effectively address the issue.
The Director of the Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine Anatoliy Zabolotny, in his opening speech said that this conference is not a one-time event and should be held annually.
Mr. Zabolotny identified several goals to be pursued in overcoming tuberculosis. First and foremost, it is the provision of patients with quality drugs, as well as free and accurate diagnosis of tuberculosis in all regions of Ukraine. In addition, Anatoliy Zabolotny noted the need for development of the plan that will transfer these requirements from the level of declaration to the level of implementation.
In turn, the WHO representative Nikoloz Nasidze said that the main priority for Ukraine is the fight against persistent tuberculosis. According to him, Ukraine is one of the 27 countries with the highest prevalence of MDR TB. “On the one hand, it proves that Ukraine is one of the priority countries for the WHO. But on the other hand, it imposes certain obligations on Ukraine”, - said Mr. Nasidze.
Overall, the conference covered such topics as early diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection among TB patients, peculiarities of the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in children, as well as consideration of the experience of other countries in the fight against tuberculosis.
Other photos from the conference can be found here.