Posted on 14 Jun, 2023 by Dr. Juma Khudonazarov, Act4Health Project Team Leader

GFA led the project Act4Health in Ukraine, which provides help and support for the people that need it the most affected - those with chronic health conditions and predominant Non-Communicable Diseases (NDC). The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports the project. This is a significant investment and contribution to support the Ministry of Health in achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal 3, on good health and well-being.

Due to the war in Ukraine, measures to prevent and control NCDs in hard-to-reach areas need to be integrated and connected to primary health care. This will ensure progress across the three pillars of economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection, with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable development and contribution to the National NCD Action Plan.

The Act4Health project continued its activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the war. In May 2023, staff from GFA headquarters visited the teams in Ukraine, and met with the Ministry of Health, Ukraine Public Health, World Health Organization, SDC, and other partners in the country. These meetings helped the team understand local requirements, and what additional support they could provide to the project team. Due to the ongoing war, the project team began providing emergency responses through Medical Mobile Teams (watch the team in action in the video).

Photo: Mobile Medical Team partners workshop, Kyiv, Ukraine, May 2023

17,000 people have accessed health services in the six months that Medical Mobile Teams have been operational. These interventions were predominantly for those living in areas where access to essential health services has been limited, does not exist at all, or places that are hard to reach. Mobile Medical Teams provide on-site diagnostics, treatment, and referral of patients to secondary health care. Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and members of host communities have equal access to the Medical Mobile Teams.

The Ukrainian team is also supported by Geneva University Hospitals , which works with GFA to provide training and coaching. The Medical Mobile Teams are well connected to local health institutions, and the staff is comprised of local community members and IDPs. This excellent collaboration with local health authorities allows the Medical Mobile Teams to cover areas where local health authorities need additional support.

In May 2023, the project launched a new innovative model of Home-Based Care, increasing the capacity of health and social care professionals to provide services at the community level. OneHealth, a local project partner organization, which has already carried out various projects successfully in Ukraine, is leading this initiative.

The project has established five NDC Knowledge Hubs across targeted regions to shape innovative ideas and provide support teams with best practices tailored to Ukraine. GFA ensures that national and international experts are available to provide the technical assistance required.

I always ask my daughter to buy me medicines to control my blood pressure. With the arrival of the Act4Health Medical Mobile Teams, I have managed to get my medication for many weeks in advance, and free of charge”, said Katya Doroshenko, 67 year old patient from Rivne.

The aim of providing Home-Based Care is to ensure that those people that have been left behind; have access to health and social support. In particular, this approach ensures that people with disabilities and those who have returned from the war will benefit from these health care services. As work continues, the use of innovative digital tools, developed by the project team, will ensure that the Medical Mobile and Social Teams have access to data in real-time and can monitor people if they need a follow-up.

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