Ukrainian remand prisons will apply a mechanism of quality TB diagnostics. This will become possible with the common agreement signed between the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine and the Charitable Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine” which is implementing the Program “Let’s Stop TB in Ukraine” with financial support of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
It is common knowledge that TB is one of the key medical and social problems in places of pre-trial detention which are considered to be focuses of the disease. Therefore, the key object of the Agreement is ensuring quality diagnostics and application of effective treatment mechanisms.
“Correctional institutions and remand prisons have always been challenging for the work of the nongovernmental organizations and at the same time concentrated a big number of TB patients. People were entering ‘the system’, getting infected and leaving with no control and so many of them never reached TB dispensaries outside the prison. Thus, they were spreading the infection among general population. Opening the doors of the penitentiary system institutions will allow us cover the inmates with the same services received by the patients outside the prison. Quality diagnostics will allow defining accurate diagnosis, allowing us to therefore start treatment with the medications needed for a concrete patient. Access to social services and application of electronic registry will allow us lead a patient through complete treatment, also upon their release from the penitentiary institutions” – says Anatoliy Zabolotnyi, the Director of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine”.
According to the First Deputy Head of the State Penitentiary Service of Ukraine Serhiy Sydorenko, “penitentiary system actively cooperates with non-governmental organizations in the civilized world. Represented by our Service, Ukraine is also starting application of modern international standards of TB diagnostics and treatment at remand prisons and hospitals on the territory of correctional institutions. In order to succeed, in cooperation with the Foundation “Development of Ukraine”, we plan to carry out a quality detailed study of the TB situation including the analysis of the existing TB support system at our subordinated institutions.”
Official number of TB patients registered in Ukraine has exceeded 1% of the population and constitutes over 500,000 people. This data includes those who have completed courses of treatment and cured. Over 31,000 of Ukrainians live with active form of TB. According to the official statistics, as of today, some 4,834 TB patients are at penitentiary institutions