Government, Businesses and NGOs Should Consolidate to Fight Epidemic
The government, businesses and NGOs should consolidate to address the epidemic in Ukraine, said Tatiyana Bilyk, manager of the project Stop TB being carried out by Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine, at the roundtable of UNIAN agency “Fighting HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Ukraine Amid Crisis: Challenges and Abilities”.
"For Ukraine, HIV/AIDS and TB epidemics are among the key life hazards and threats in the system of public health. They also make our country repelling for investors”, said Tatiyana Bilyk.
According to her, the country can't cope with the epidemic alone, while long-standing activities prove inefficient.
“In 2007, 38,000 new TB cases were officially registered, but TB is an airborne infection, which means that the actual number of infected is much higher. Now that the financial and economic situation slumped, the number of TB patients is growing. Besides, Ukraine is among 27 countries affected by grave TB forms, in particular, MDR TB", pointed out Ms Bilyk.
She said just over UAH 140m was allocated on TB programs in 2009. “Of course, it's not enough. It is paramount, that the government made well-reasoned strategic solutions, efficiently used healthcare funds and finally initiated reforms in the area replacing political declarations with actions”, she stressed.
She believes the government must understand: if it can't address the problems itself, it should involve businesses into the struggle.
“For this purpose we should encourage the private economy sector to invest in improving of the public health and fighting AIDS and TB epidemic in Ukraine. Ukraine should also seek to become attractive for international donors, ie for the Global Fund. So far, woefully, Ukraine makes a low-efficient use of its resources, is involved in many corruption scandals and has pending obligations towards the World Bank”, emphasized Tatiyana Bilyk.
However, she said, now Ukraine has a chance to receive funding from the Global Fund to Fight TB.
According to Ms Bilyk, amid a crisis it's crucial to make efficient use of the available resources. She also mentioned that Rinat Akhmetov’s Foundation for Development of Ukraine keeps running all planned projects, particularly those intended to fight TB epidemic and cancer in Ukraine.
UNIAN Online edition
22 January 09