Ukrainian experience at UnionConf2023
The Union World Conference on Lung Health 2023 took place on 15-18 November in Paris. The conference has been held for over 100 years and presents the latest scientific research on all aspects of lung health. This year's theme was "Fighting Pandemics: Today and Tomorrow" and focused on the importance of working to prevent pandemics that may arise in the future.
We talked about the research of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on the current policy of detecting and treating tuberculosis and the reasons why half of the cases of tuberculosis transmission may not be noticed and receive treatment; about the new roadmap for the prevention and treatment of childhood tuberculosis from the World Health Organization, about new discoveries of scientists linking adolescent tuberculosis to infertility if left untreated, etc.
Ilona Yeleneva, Director of the NGO "Labour and Health Social Initiatives" (LHSI), also took part in the conference, as the organisation has been successfully implementing the project "You should know about TB: Active detection of tuberculosis cases among people in difficult life circumstances" funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, with the support of the International Charitable Foundation "Alliance for Public Health" in cooperation with social service centres in the following regions: Donetsk, Luhansk, Chernivtsi, Kharkiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia and Kyiv.
Even during the air raid and constant enemy attacks in the eastern regions of Ukraine, LHSI social workers continued to provide TB screening services in places where IDPs gathered.
Ilona Yeleneva presented her unique experience during the World Lung Health Conference and spoke about the specifics of using digital technologies to build adherence to treatment during the war in Ukraine.
"40% of TB patients among our IDP clients still need direct contact with a doctor and social support, while the rest kept in touch with their doctors using video DOTs and smart boxes," Ilona Yeleneva comments, "So our team insists that doctors should have various means available locally, and they will choose the most convenient way together with the patient”.
The project "You should know about tuberculosis" is implemented by the the NGO "Labour and Health Social Initiatives" (LHSI) with the support of a grant from The Global Fund through the Alliance for Public Health.
The aim of the project is to organise active TB detection among people in difficult life circumstances who receive services from local social services (in particular, internally displaced persons, low-income people with harmful alcohol use) and children from their families in seven target regions.
The project supports algorithms of interaction between social and medical services to improve TB detection among socially vulnerable groups - people in vulnerable situations, IDPs and children from vulnerable families.