Joint Call Regarding Health Crisis in Donbas, East Ukraine

Joint call

On behalf of the 100 health leaders, professionals and activists from 60 government institutions, technical partners, donors, civil society and affected communities committed to ending the tuberculosis and AIDS epidemics in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who gathered at Global Plan to Stop TB & Eastern Europe and Central Asia Consultation on Sustainable Impact, on 23-24 July 2015 in Istanbul, the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria express grave concerns over challenges in providing access to essential treatments for HIV, tuberculosis and opioid dependence in areas of Donbas in East Ukraine, where:

  • Nearly 8,000 HIV patients, including children and prisoners, are in danger of running out of life-saving antiretroviral medicines by mid-August. The Global Fund has approved an emergency fund grant to UNICEF in the amount of US$3.7 million for the duration of 12 months to prevent disruptions in the delivery of HIV treatment to the areas of Donbas affected by the military conflict.
  • Stocks of medicines for drug-resistant tuberculosis are insufficient, and further shortages – leading to more tuberculosis and more drug resistance – are expected.
  • More than 800 patients that had been receiving opioid substitution therapy can no longer access their treatment, and another 250 patients receive only a fraction of their regular dosages due to a complete lack of medicines.

Patients should not be forced to pay for the conflict with their lives and their health. All parties involved should find solutions to solve this humanitarian crisis.

  • We call upon the Government of Ukraine and the local authorities in areas of Donbas to ensure unhindered passage of humanitarian convoy of internationally-funded vital medicines for HIV, tuberculosis and opioid dependence.
  • The parties involved in the conflict should find long-term solutions for protecting the right to health for all in need in Donbas, independently of status of territory where people live.
  • We call upon international organizations, the UN system, donors, humanitarian aid groups, media and the international community to join forces to resolve this health crisis in Donbas.

Svitlana Moroz
Chair of the Board
Eurasian Women Network on AIDS

Aida Kurtovic
Vice Chair of the Board
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Michel Kazatchkine
UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Lucica Ditiu
Executive Secretary
STOP TB Partnership

Mark Dybul
Executive Director
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

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