According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ukraine is the second-highest-priority country for tuberculosis (TB) control in Europe. To counter this prevalence, the USAID-funded Strengthening TB Control in Ukraine project works in partnership with the Ukrainian government and NGOs to improve the way health care providers detect, treat, and prevent TB.
Chemonics focuses on a variety of health services in eight targeted regions of Ukraine. The project works to expand the availability of Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS)-based TB services, improve the quality of laboratory practices for correct diagnosis, and introduce infection control practices in health facilities. By promoting safe patient practices, the project also helps health facilities more effectively manage multi-drug-resistant TB cases and contribute to better treatment outcomes.
An additional health risk to patients who have contracted HIV is TB co-infection. The project provides on-the-job mentoring to build health care workers' capacity to address co-infection, such as improved TB screening for HIV-positive patients and HIV testing and referrals for TB patients. Thanks to the project's efforts, X-ray screening of people living with HIV increased from 61 percent in June 2013 to 72.5 percent in June 2014.
Those TB patients with drug-susceptible TB who are at high risk of treatment default also receive special attention from the project: in 2013 the project issued a grant to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, and during the first year and a half of the grant over 550 patients received their full course of TB treatment.
The project consistently works to institutionalize international best practices in TB control, advocating that updated national clinical protocols correspond with WHO standards and training 2,250 doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians on the latest in TB prevention, detection, and care. Additionally, STbCU’s promotion of evidence-based practices has tripled timely detection of TB among people living with HIV. STbCU has also established an online Training and Information Resource Center, in partnership with the Ukrainian Center for Disease Control (UCDC). The project is currently supporting Ukraine’s reform efforts, studying patient benefit and health system cost savings by switching from in-patient treatment to out-patient care the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih. STbCU and UCDC are currently partnering to pilot the model in Kryvyi Rih and may expand to other cities in Ukraine.
- Improve the quality and expand availability of DOTS-based TB services
- Create a safer medical environment for improved infection control
- Build capacity to implement programs for multi-drug-resistant and extremely drug resistant TB
- Improve access to TB/HIV co-infection services