PROJECT TO ASSIST IN REDUCING NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES LAUNCHED IN UKRAINE
On 4 June 2021, GFA and its partners launched the Reducing Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Disease project in Ukraine, which is funded by Swiss Development Corporation (SDC). The project aims at tackling the most serious public health threat of the 21st century: non-communicable diseases (NCD), more commonly known as diabetes and hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The GFA team will assist the country in achieving the NCD Action Plan developed by the Ministry of Health. During the project launch, representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ukraine Public Health Centre and the SDC Ukraine office delivered speeches and outlined the vision and goal of the four-year initiative.
The project is working at different levels including policy development, strengthening the primary health care system to better diagnose and counsel patients, and promoting lifestyle changes through innovative behaviour change interventions. Using the power of social media and the internet to communicate different evidence-based messages will help people have access to up-to-date information and make informed choices. The project will promote healthy choices in seven regions of Ukraine with Lviv, Poltava, Kherson, Rivne, Dnipropetrovsk being the main targeted areas and Donetsk and Luhansk being supported indirectly.
Ukraine has one of the highest mortality rates of cardiovascular diseases in Europe and excessive use of alcohol and smoking still contributes to the rising number of non-communicable diseases. More than 35% of death related to NCDs are premature and the majority of them could be prevented. COVID-19 showed that people with non-communicable diseases are most vulnerable in a pandemic. For instance, more than 16% of people who died in Ukraine from COVID-19 had a combination of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Almost half of the population in Ukraine face financial hardship and pay for health services out of their pocket.
Working with different institutions such as the Ministry of Education, regional public health centers, primary health care providers, academic institutions, and, most importantly ,with communities will allow the GFA team to empower both people and institutions to tackle non-communicable diseases through a healthy lifestyle.
More information can be retrieved at www.actforhealth.in.ua .
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