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The Ministry of Health and World Health Organization expand primary health care services for patients in war-affected regions of Ukraine

11 June 2022

Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Iryna Mykychak and WHO representative in Ukraine Dr. Jarno Habicht visited Moshchun, Bucha and Havrylivka - settlements in the Kyiv oblast where most hospitals were damaged and outpatient clinics were destroyed during the war, which led to a violation of access to basic medical services and caused significant challenges in obtaining medical care.

WHO estimates that more than one in three adults in Ukraine has health problems caused by chronic noncommunicable diseases and needs systematic medical coverage, including counseling and medical support. The number of people with chronic diseases in the municipality of Bucha (Kyiv oblast) is approximately 10 thousand people, and up to 20 thousand more of the same people are in the communities of Hostomel, Borodianka and Dymer.

To ensure access to primary health care and medicines in the affected areas of the Kyiv oblast, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the WHO office in Ukraine and the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine, initiated a project to support the primary health care system in the format of mobile medical teams. 

The goal of the project is to bring basic medical services closer to residents of Hostomel, Makariv, Borodianka, Dymer, Ivankiv and other neighboring communities.

"A full-scale war continues in Ukraine, and every day our heroic people and the Armed Forces of Ukraine defend their land. We defend the right to freedom and independence, to the future of Ukraine. Due to the support of our international colleagues, we have the opportunity to help the territories most affected by the war, in particular the Kyiv oblast. Due to the joint efforts of the Ministry of Health, WHO and the Public Organization "Academy of Family Medicine", residents of the community gained access to medical care and necessary medicines. By supporting local health care institutions, in particular primary health care centers and outpatient clinics of family medicine, we restore the continuity of medical care to the population affected by the war, and establish psychological support. From the first days of deoccupation, the joint efforts of the Ministry of Health and the regional military administration organized field consultation medical care by specialists of specialized institutions — the Emergency Medical Care Center, the National Specialized Children's Hospital "OKHMATDYT", the Heart Institute, and Kyiv regional hospitals," Iryna Mykychak said.

According to the deputy minister of health of Ukraine, due to cooperation with WHO and other international partners, special mobile medical teams are additionally involved to conduct professional consultations and medical examinations of residents of the region. We thank our colleagues for their international support and solidarity with our people at such a difficult time. She also expressed special gratitude and respect to Ukrainian doctors. After all, every day, as today, in the Kyiv region, we learn about new stories of patriotism, new examples of professional feat and incredible perseverance and courage. 

"WHO is expanding primary health care services in communities of the Kyiv oblast that were seriously affected by the war. In close cooperation with the Ministry of health of Ukraine and the Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine, we promote access to basic medical services and medicines for residents of Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Borodianka and other seriously affected areas of the region by creating and operating mobile medical teams that will conduct more than 120 community visits and more than 1,500 consultations on primary health care for war-affected patients in the coming months," said Dr. Jarno Habicht, WHO representative in Ukraine.

"We are sincerely grateful to the World Health Organization for partnership in the implementation of the mobile medical teams project in the Kyiv oblast – an important initiative that contributes to ensuring access to primary health care and medicines for the population in war-affected settlements in the Kyiv oblast, "said Iryna Voloshyna, project manager for mobile teams from the public organization "Academy of Family Medicine of Ukraine".

During their visit to the Kyiv oblast, deputy minister Iryna Mykychak and Dr. Yarno Habicht met with medical professionals and thanked them for their efforts and tireless work in providing the necessary assistance to the affected population of the Kyiv oblast during these difficult times.

Within the framework of the project, doctors of mobile medical teams will conduct visits to communities, provide consultations and medical services, including medical examinations, diagnostics, prescribing treatment and medicines, referrals to narrow specialists/hospitals for specialized care, promote a healthy lifestyle, advise on the prevention of health problems, and provide further monitoring. In addition, they will also focus on performing field services in the community, visiting the homes of people with disabilities and other affected patients who need additional coverage of basic health services that should be close to people.

Over the next three months, the project aims to restore and ensure continuity of medical care to the war-affected population, support local primary health care institutions and health workers to restore and integrate services into the e-health system, improve access to services and availability of medicines for patients with noncommunicable diseases (diabetes, hypertension, asthma, etc.).

The project is being implemented by WHO with the support of Switzerland and the Government of Canada.