Distance learning in the field of HIV: Papua New Guinea provides virtual training for doctors

Distance learning is a new milestone in the development of the education system. Changes in the field of medicine, in particular, the direction of the fight against HIV and prevention of the spread of human immunodeficiency virus have not escaped. For example, the National Department of Health of Papua New Guinea has launched the country's first virtual training program for doctors prescribing antiretroviral treatment.

It is reported that in the 30 days since the launch of the program, 105 participants have registered, 70% of whom have not had the opportunity to attend any other training events in the last three years.

Participants gained access to 21 video lectures with a total duration of more than six hours. The materials are based on Google Class technology and focus on topics such as HIV treatment, care and maintenance, and monitoring and evaluation tools. Training materials include video lectures and test tasks that must be completed within seven days of registration.

This method of training has significantly reduced the costs of both organizers and participants. All doctors need to be successful is, for example, access to the Internet, an active e-mail account for registration, minimal computer skills, and so on. For some time, teachers remain available to health professionals and through the platform are ready to provide advice and help to understand in more detail the issues that may arise after the course.

The organizers and staff of the program are representatives of the National Technical Working Group on HIV, which includes the UNAIDS regional office. The Google Class platform is free; all material is stored on Google Drive, which remains available through Google's regular account.

Later, after the virtual classes, the training will be consolidated by control visits and field training sessions.

HIV and TB statistics in Ukraine: June 2020

According to the Center for Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, in June 2020, 1,467 new cases of HIV infection and 1,199 cases of tuberculosis were officially registered in Ukraine (excluding data from Crimea from 2014 and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk from 2015). 

HIV infection:

Of the 1,467 new HIV cases reported, 374 patients were diagnosed with AIDS and 183 died of AIDS.

Ways of HIV infection in Ukraine in June 2020:

    • heterosexual - 794;
    • parenteral - 632;
    • homosexual - 37;
    • other non-medical interventions - 1;
    • vertical - 139 (most of them (about 98%) after 18 months will not have HIV);
    • unknown - 2.


In June 2020, 1,199 cases of tuberculosis were registered:

    • 971 new cases;
    • 1 case with an unknown history of previous treatment;
    • 228 patients with relapse;
    • 22 patients who resumed treatment after a break;
    • 82 patients who started re-treatment after failure;
    • 41 another case.

In June 2020, a total of 15,731 people were treated for tuberculosis.

Viral hepatitis B: a lifelong disease

The Center of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine informs that the number of people infected with hepatitis C in Ukraine is estimated at 1 million 300 thousand people, and hepatitis B - more than 500 thousand people. Viral hepatitis B and C pose a serious threat to public health. About 80% of cases of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma are caused by viral hepatitis.

Early diagnosis of viral hepatitis is extremely important, because the treatment can prevent the development of diseases and serious liver damage

Viral hepatitis C is curable in 95% of cases. The treatment lasts from 12 to 24 weeks. Viral hepatitis B needs lifelong treatment. However, due to timely and regular use of drugs, the development of the disease can be significantly restrained. Treatment for viral hepatitis B and C can be obtained from the state budget. A map of health facilities that provide services for the diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis is here.

The disease can be prevented by triple vaccination. Vaccination of newborns against hepatitis B prevents the development of infection in the child and is the only reliable protection against this disease. Hepatitis B vaccination for children in Ukraine is free.

In Ukraine, vaccination of children against hepatitis B has been planned since 2002. Therefore, people born before 2002 are generally not protected from the disease, but can be immunized against hepatitis B in adulthood.

In November 2019, Ukraine joined the Global Strategy for the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis B and C. Our country has adopted a National Strategy for Combating HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis until 2030. The goals of the State Strategy in terms of viral hepatitis until 2030 are:

  • prevention of 90% of new cases of viral hepatitis;
  • diagnosing 90% of people who have viral hepatitis and do not know about their disease;
  • treatment of 90% of patients (for people with viral hepatitis C - this involves complete recovery from the disease, and for people with hepatitis B - control over the development of the disease and prevention of liver damage).

The Strategy envisages strengthening the system of epidemiological surveillance of viral hepatitis, expanding access to diagnosis and treatment, introducing new simplified approaches to the detection and management of patients, raising general awareness of the problem of viral hepatitis.

A practical guide for healthcare professionals adapted to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic has been developed

WHO has developed a practical guide adapted to the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic for healthcare professionals treating patients with severe acute respiratory viral infections.

The manual provides tools and practical recommendations that can be used to care for patients with severe disease: from admission to discharge from hospital.

The Ukrainian, English and Russian versions of the manual can be downloaded here: Clinical care for severe acute respiratory infection: toolkit: COVID-19 adaptation 



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