20180706_151545 On July 5-6 2018, TB Europe Coalition in partnership with Ukrainian Center for Public Health and civil society counterparts – Labour and Health Social Initiatives and Alliance for Public Health ran a workshop aimed at helping NTP and social welfare leadership in one Oblast to better understand the nature of civil society organisations, what they can do to boost TB programmes, and how to build initiatives with them.

Given the size of Ukraine, it was decided to focus on just one Oblast (region). Odessa was chosen as being one of the regions of Ukraine with the highest of MDR-TB burdens. In addition, the region has active civil society organizations and last year joined the Zero TB Cities initiative.

Facilitators for the workshop – Paul Sommerfeld, Ilona Yeleneva, Yuliya Chorna and Natalia Kamenska leaned upon the National context of the changes and reforms facing Ukrainian TB services, when developing the program. The Concept of the National targeted TB Program for 2018-2021 foresees management of funding for the state social contracting through social welfare departments at the regional and district levels. Still the interaction between social departments and the civil society, working in TB field is not quite strong; therefore the workshop focused on strengthening collaboration between all the TB stakeholders as well as development of joint action plans to support and complement activities of each other.

Participants of the workshop included representatives of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, Ukrainian Center for Public Health at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, including NTP Manager, as well as the Region NTP; Odessa City Council, Centers of social services for family, children and youth, departments of social welfare, primary healthcare ambulatory points, including TB doctors, and of course civil society organizations and TB activists.

During the first day of the workshop the topics on the course of TB reform and TB trends in Ukraine were covered by Dr. Yana Terleyeva (NTP) nationally, and Dr. Svitlana Yesipenko, with the specifics on Odessa region. The results of the pilot project on results-based financing, which showed a high treatment adherence and effectiveness at the ambulatory settings (83% for the sensitive TB cases treatment success at outpatient care) implemented by Alliance in Odessa region were also been presented. Participants as well discussed the main provision of the people-centered care, including the barriers for “From cough to cure pathway” and possible actions civil society and other stakeholders can take to mitigate the barriers at different stages – from appearance of the symptoms to treatment completion.

As well, the workshop included the sessions on group work, which helped to understand all the stakeholders present what are the functions and roles of each organization, as well as the stakeholders at the National level. A role-play on interaction between the officers of the social welfare departments and civil society facilitated by Paul Sommerfeld, had a great success and was a fun.

During the second day of the workshop, the focus was on the practical outcomes of the training – aimed at strengthened collaboration between stakeholders and facilitating greater access of the civil society partners to the social contracting options. It also included the presentations of the civil society partners working in the region and nationally on TB services they provide. Particular attention devotes discussion on the role of the local self-governments in setting the priorities for the social contracting, funding opportunities and mechanisms available at the municipal level. Viktoria Sanovska, representing Ministry of the Social Policy shared the insights on the social contracting mechanisms and opportunities for funding from the National perspective, Iryna Kutsenko, deputy of Odessa City Council shared experience and opportunities at the local level.

Final session of the workshop was devoted to the next steps planning. The group work highlighted the available services, gaps and ways to address the gaps at different locations of Odessa region. The next steps agreed included setting a work group to develop the unified mechanism on addressing the TB, including the joint fundraising plan (both for donor and local funding) as well as assessment of TB key groups (including their statistical representation) and analysis of their needs.

The workshop was one of the first events in Ukraine, which gathered both governmental and non-governmental organizations and TB community across health and social services spectrum. It gave an opportunity for participants to better know about work of each other, networking and preparing the joint next steps for effective TB response in the region.


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