CDC in Ukraine

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established an office in Ukraine in 2010 to develop the capacity of the government and partners to respond to the HIV epidemic. CDC continues to work closely with the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and other local and international partners to achieve HIV epidemic control. CDC also supports Ukraine in strengthening laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity to combat disease outbreaks in support of the Global Health Security Agenda.

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What CDC is Doing in Ukraine

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Ukraine to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response program to accelerate progress towards controlling the HIV epidemic.

CDC’s focus in Ukraine is on enhancing the availability, quality, and use of HIV surveillance and monitoring data to advance data-driven programming. CDC also works with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to strengthen Ukraine’s Public Health Center (PHC), as well as the National HIV/AIDS Reference Laboratory and its laboratory network. Additionally, CDC works with the MOH and partners to increase uptake of antiretroviral therapy, improve retention of patients in treatment, increase the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who are virally suppressed, and implement information systems for management of care for PLHIV.

CDC is supporting national partners to accelerate targeted HIV testing and linkage to treatment initiation. Multiple partners, including PHC and local and international non-governmental organizations, work together to improve data quality and use, and build PHC’s capacity in the field of strategic information and laboratory and clinical management of HIV.

In today’s globally connected world, disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. CDC’s global health security efforts in Ukraine help improve the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Ukraine reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats.

CDC, working closely with the MOH and other partners, provides ongoing expertise and assistance across technical areas known as GHSA action packages. With CDC’s assistance, Ukraine has developed detailed action plans on disease surveillance, laboratory systems, workforce development, biosafety and biosecurity, immunization, and other critical areas. Current efforts are focused on facilitating implementation of these actions plans to achieve the targets and competencies specified by GHSA and World Health Organization (WHO) regulations.

CDC supports Ukraine in strengthening the capacity of its workforce to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks through the establishment of a Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). FETP trains a workforce of field epidemiologists—or disease detectives—to identify and contain outbreaks before they become epidemics. Participants develop skills for gathering critical data and turning it into evidence-based action. The FETP in Ukraine was established in 2018, and 16 public health professionals are currently enrolled in the first cohort of the program. The second FETP cohort will begin training in June 2019.

Ukraine has one of the lowest immunization coverage rates in the world. With vaccination rates at 19% for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, and 42% for measles, mumps and rubella, Ukraine remains vulnerable to new outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. CDC is providing technical assistance to Ukraine’s MOH to strengthen its national immunization program by addressing the following areas:  building technical, leadership, and management capacity; improving partner collaboration and coordination (including enhancing in-country advisory bodies); revising immunization policy; and developing strategies to address vaccine hesitancy, vaccine safety surveillance, and risk communication.

Consolidating and organizing public health expertise and systems within a national public health institute is a proven way for countries to carry out essential public health functions and improve accountability and efficiency. CDC provided technical assistance to Ukraine’s MOH in the creation of the national Public Health Center which merged several existing government entities and is responsible for ensuring effective allocation of limited public health resources for maximum public health impact. A strengthened PHC serves as an organizational home for global health security programs and activities.

CDC Impact in Ukraine
  • Advocated alongside other PEPFAR- Ukraine partners for key legislative reforms in financing models, antiretroviral therapy procurement, and service delivery.

  • Improved the utility and breadth of data available on the HIV epidemic through continued use of key population surveys.

  • Supported the development of the much-needed HIV Medical Information System in 12 PEPFAR regions.

  • Launched an innovative optimized case finding project to increase HIV testing services among people who inject drugs, and increase the availability of case managers to effectively link people living with HIV to treatment.

  • Launched the use of performance-based incentives for healthcare workers to motivate treatment enrollment for those who test positive for HIV.

CDC Staff in Ukraine
  • 4 U.S. Assignees
  • 9 Locally Employed
Ukraine at a Glance
  • Population: 44,831,159 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $8,900
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 76/M 67 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 8/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Ukraine

Population Reference Bureau 2018, Ukraine

Ukraine Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. lschemic heart disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Alzheimer’s disease
  4. Cirrhosis
  5. Cardiomyopathy
  6. Lung cancer
  7. Self-harm
  8. Colorectal cancer
  9. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  10. Stomach cancer

Source: GBD Compare 2018, Ukraine

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Page last reviewed: May 22, 2019
Content source: Global Health