HIV Preventing and testing becomes more available for Odessa citizens

On April 3, 2017, the OCF “Way Home” and the city council of Odessa signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of healthcare. With the common efforts, it is planned to build up the sustainable system of Odessa health services to the people with the high risk of HIV infection and people living with HIV. The memorandum was signed in frames of the pilot project “Sustainability of HIV services”, which is being held under the support of USAid larger project “The HIV services reforms in action”.

The city administration representative, Anatoly Orlovski (first deputy chief of the city administration), signed the memorandum from the governmental side. Sergey Kostin, the president of the OCF “Way Home”. The partners from other NGOs, deputies of the city regional council and donors from the pilot project of USAid.

In frames of the pilot project, it is planned to implement the program of HIV counseling and rapid testing within the family doctors clinics, which includes, in case of the positive status of the client – forwarding him to the special medical institutions for the further treatment. The other aspect of the project is the co-financing of the replacement therapy offices for the patients with the opioid drug dependency that will be authorized to issue the prescriptions in the special replacement medications to be distributed in the certain pharmacies.

 “The pilot project “Sustainability…” brings up the ideas of the reform into the city. These ideas are not only good for the city budget, but also work in tune with the European HIV service practices and the healthcare approach of the WHO», — said Anatoly Orlovski, and then added that the main purpose of signing memorandum is to be able to attain the sustainable process of HIV services for the people of the region. “We will make the HIV testing and consulting available, will research the possibilities of the decentralization of the medical treatment of the HIV positive people within the centers of the first medical aid and infectionists offices, and also will implement the replacement therapy offices in Malinovski and Kievski regions”? – he resumed.

Sergey Kostin, the president of the “Way Home” Charity Foundation thanked city government for the trust and cooperation, stated that the “Way Home” is successfully working in the area of HIV and victim groups for over 20 years: “We have learned a lot during the 20 years of our work in the field and took out trustful place in the landscape of the our state. I know that in the future the similar cooperation between our NGO and the government will become a usual social practice  – when the government is ordering work from the social NGOs for the benefit of the people of the country. “– stated Sergey Kostin.

Jerry Dible, the head of the healthcare department of the USAid, in her speech pointed that her organization is highly respecting the efforts of the both sides, signing the memorandum, and will be contributing from her side for the benefit of the project. “We hope that the memorandum will allow to realize the project in its best. We highly value the efforts that the region is making for the cooperation NGO and the government in the field of the HIV prevention and treatment”, Said Jerry Dible.

Natalia Kitsenko, the head of the pilot project, in her turn, said that the project has a great significance for Odessa and the sustainability of the HIV services are important for the area and people with HIV.

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