Expert meeting of partners from two regional projects Alliance for Public Health on sharing experience: Fast-track TB/HIV responses for key populations in EECA cities from #Odesa (Ukraine) and #SoS_project from # Chisinau ( Moldova), the city #Osh (Kyrgyzstan) and the city #Dushanbe (Tajikistan) took place in Odesa.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the involvement of city halls, the creation of working groups involving representatives of key groups, writing the City Program on HIV and its main components, methods for calculating the cost of clients, what interventions can be used, talked about the Paris Declaration, effective arguments in the negotiation process with municipal authorities that money was allocated to social order and other issues.
The deputy of the Odessa City Council Irina Kutsenko and the project coordinator Elena Talalaeva shared their successes and difficulties at the meeting. They described how the joint work of the Alliance, the Odessa municipality, partner NGOs and representatives of key groups led to an increase of 50% in the number of patients receiving ARV therapy. And this result is only for 2 years! For comparison, in Kiev, which is also the city of the Fast Track Cities initiative, over the same period, progress was 43%, and even less all over Ukraine – only 37%.
It should be noted that the city did not just manage to transfer the problem from the medical plane to the municipal agenda, to get focus control of the mayor of the city on FastTrack progress and support from the City Council deputies, but also to improve the success of TB treatment at the outpatient stage. It grew from 56% in 2016 to 77.4% in 2018. An Icelandic prevention model was also introduced to prevent the use of psychoactive substances among young people, the ST program was expanded, etc.