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Ukraine s Health Ministry has supported policies of the World Health Organization (WHO) and vows to take all necessary steps to implement programs to make Ukraine polio-free. To this end, the necessary legal framework has already been established and new members of National Committee for Certification of Polio Eradication have been nominated, the Information-analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine reads.
«Now the health care institutions are adequately supplied with vaccines for polio vaccination in accordance with the National immunization schedule,» Oleksandr Kachur, Deputy Health Minister, said during a meeting with international experts from the WHO Regional Office visiting Ukraine on a epidemiological polio surveillance mission. International and Ukrainian experts will work together for a detailed analysis and monitoring of the epidemic situation for three days in five regions — the city of Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, Cherkasy and Sumy regions. After completion of the mission, the experts will make recommendations on ways to improve the system of epidemiological surveillance of poliomyelitis in Ukraine.
Health experts say WHO has formulated a clear strategy to interrupt polio transmission, including the following principles: 90% immunization coverage, mass vaccination campaigns «National Immunization Days» and so-called catch-up campaigns, as required. These strategies are included in the program to support the polio-free status of Ukraine.
Experts say the program is a part of Ukrainian health care reform, aimed to improve the quality of health services and to provide equal and fair access to them for all citizens. The first step of the program is reforming primary health care in the pilot regions, establishing centers for primary health care with a network of clinics and medical stations.
Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk regions and Kyiv were selected as pilot regions.
Government analysts say the first results of the reform in pilot regions are generally positive. The number of primary care centers has grown from 2 in 2010 to 678 in 2013, which has made medical care closer to the citizens.
Wages of physicians in primary care grew from 2,670 UAH in 2011 to 4,165 UAH in December 2012. Until the end of 2013, they will be increased by another 56%, and will rise over 6,000 UAH monthly. Since 2009, Ukraine has significantly reduced infant mortality, and almost halved maternal mortality.
Ukraine last year opened 6 perinatal centers. Five additional centers more have been opened since early 2013.