01 / 10 / 2021
Outcomes of the project "Improving the quality and sustainability of substance maintenance treatment in Ukraine"

A five-year project aimed at developing and disseminating substance maintenance treatment (SMT) programs in Ukraine has been completed. On September 28, during an online meeting, the project partners discussed its results and plans for the future.

At the meeting more than 60 participants were registered - partners representatives, colleagues and friends of the project (CDC, Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, PEPFAR Office in Ukraine, USAID, WHO, UNODC, local coordinators / project sites, UIPHP, "Nadiya and Trust", All-Ukrainian Association of People with Drug Addiction "VOLNA", All-Ukrainian Association of Drug Addicted Women "Vona", Project "For Life", etc.).

Participants presented and discussed the project achievements, as well as plans and challenges for the further development of substance maintenance treatment programs.

The project "Improving the Quality and Sustainability of Medication Maintenance Treatment in Ukraine" was implemented by the Public Health Alliance with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the PEPFAR program. It aimed to stimulate the development of SMT programs in Ukraine and obtain long-term positive results for the social sphere and the health of drug addicts.

The team of the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy implemented several important components of the project - in particular, the development of clinical protocols and the organization of medical staff training. With the participation of our experts, the Adapted Clinical Guidelines, the Unified Clinical Protocol of Medical Care and the Standard of Medical Care “Treatment of Mental and Behavioral Disorders Due to Opioid Use” were developed, as well as the monitoring of SMT site performance by key PEPFAR indicators. In 2017, four online courses for doctors, nurses, psychologists and social workers were recorded and made available on the educational Internet platform of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine: “Treatment of opioid dependence”, “Integrated care for people with mental and behavioral disorders due to opioid use ”,“Organizational aspects of providing integrated services to persons with mental and behavioral disorders due to opioid use ”,“Psychosocial support of patients with opioid dependence in accordance with international recommendations and national standards ”.

In 2020, a telephone automated SMT Patient Support Line was launched as part of the project. The Support Line for Drug Addicts was established in Ukraine taking into account the successful experience of implementing similar technology by American colleagues. UIPHP specialists, together with partners, adapted the content of the American line, organized its work and studied the effectiveness.

Completion of the 5-year project cycle is not the end of SMT activities: more than 5,000 new patients are planned to be recruited in Ukraine every year. The state institutions will need the support of research and public organizations, so cooperation will be continued.