MSF has almost completed the hand-over of its HIV/AIDS programme in the Ukraine to the AIDS centres in Mikolaev, Odessa and Simferopol. The mission there started five years ago, focusing on the three cities and their surroundings.
MSF introduced a model of comprehensive treatment in the Ukraine, consisting of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), treatment and care, laboratory support and psychosocial care.
The handover process started last October and the mission will finally close shop in December this year.
The PMTCT activities in Mikolaev were already handed over last December, those in Odessa followed last month. A pilot project in a satellite clinic in Odessa has been developed by MSF, the regional hospital and the Odessa regional AIDS centre.
The AIDS centres have also taken over the care for the 114 adults and 29 children in the MSF treatment and care programme. MSF will continue to provide anti-retroviral drugs and drugs for the treatment of opportunistic infections until December of this year.
The handover of MSF's laboratory equipment should be completed by November 1 of this year. MSF will continue to provide the reagents for the equipment until December.
Handing over the psychosocial activities was a bit more complicated, as this form of care does not exist in the health care system in Ukraine. Therefore, this component was handed over to our partner NGOs of MSF in Mikolaev and Odessa. One of the partners in Odessa is the NGO "Alternative", created by MSF peer counsellors in Odessa.
In the coming six months MSF will monitor the situation in the health care facilities and also quality of care, until the final closure in December.