In the framework of the project “Technical assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the Program for military of the US President's Emergency Plan for HIV / AIDS (DHAPP-PEPFAR)”, the Second Annual Senior Leadership Workshop on HIV / AIDS for the blood safety experts, State sanitary-epidemiological service representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (MoD) and professors of Ukrainian Military Medical Academy (UMMA) was held on the 3-4 of December 2015, in Lviv. The event was attended by 28 participants.
The aim of the event was to discuss the current HIV / AIDS, Hepatitis B, C and tuberculosis epidemiological situation among the servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU)and ways for the further cooperation between military medical service of the MOD and the INGO "International HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis Institute"; to identify possible areas for the improvement of epidemiological services for the military units of the AFU and to intensify the partnership in the fight against HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and associated infections of military significance; and to provide ideas and proposals for the development of pocket-sized health informational materials for military personnel (format, design, needed information, images style, and more).
The first day of Workshop was dedicated to presentations of the specialists of The Sanitary Epidemiological Sservice (SES), who provided detailed information on the epidemiological situation in different regions of Ukraine. Also the Central Blood Services and two regional representatives reported on their current work. The Chief Transfuziologist of the MOD, Colonel Zamkoviy A.D. in his presentation outlined the necessary steps for the improvement and further development of the military blood banking services. In his speech, he thanked the INGO "IHATI" for their on-going fruitful cooperation, which has resulted in the provision of modern equipment, such as centrifuges for separation of blood, specialized refrigerators and thermo-containers for the safe transportation of blood and blood components to the military field hospitals in the ATO Zone.
The senior representative of UMMA, Colonel Voronko A.A., in his report described the current situation of the spread of HIV in Ukraine in general and among soldiers of different categories. Based on his own experience gained in ATO Zone, he stressed the need for a greater awareness raising activities among the military personnel. He also informed the participants that the INGO "IHATI” had developed and tested an educational and methodical manual "HIV and other socially dangerous diseases among servicemen of AFU", which will be useful for medical staff for conducting training sessions in military units.
During the second day of the Workshop, participants were divided into four groups by themes, each group got a task to "develop" information material on one of the next topics - HIV / AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and risky sexual behavior. The results of the groups’ work were presented to all the participants and this encouraged and led to productive discussions. After the groups’ presentations, Ms. Tetyana Bila, representative of the INGO "IHATI", thanked all the presenters for their fruitful work and assured that their ideas and comments will be used in the development of updated information materials.
After the conference, participants were awarded with certificates.