27 November 2013 - Ukraine struggles to combat major communicable diseases threats as well as non-communicable diseases. The country is at the epicenter of the Tuberculosis, especially multi-drug resistant, as well as HIV in Europe. But today non-communicable diseases (NCDs) comprise the bulk of morbidity and mortality in Ukraine. The people of Ukraine have highest burden of circulatory diseases in the region.

Ukraine struggles to combat major communicable diseases threats as well as non-communicable diseases. The country is at the epicenter of the Tuberculosis, especially multi-drug resistant, as well as HIV in Europe. But today non-communicable diseases (NCDs) comprise the bulk of morbidity and mortality in Ukraine. The people of Ukraine have highest burden of circulatory diseases in the region.

Tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diet, stress and physical inactivity are only some of the determinants.

Ukraine is challenged by a weak supportive environment that makes the healthy choices the easy ones, primary health care where most of the medical professionals in the country are overloaded with work and not always able to provide preventive care and limited universal health care and high out-of-pocket payments. With the predominance of the hospital based service that are not well connected with each other and mainly focused on curative services with poor continuity of care. The financial crisis is has put an even heavier burden on individuals, families and communities. .

It is not surprising that Ukrainians are the only ones in the European region who voted for better health care and healthy lifestyle as the first priority for the Post 2015 Development Agenda in the frame of the survey “World We Want 2015”.

Dr. Dorit Nitzan, the WHO Representative and Head of Country Office in in Ukraine comments: “We work very close with the Government of Ukraine in following the idea that it is not enough to come and explain to people how they have to live. The State has to provide the right conditions, from childhood to adolescence. The NCDs are not individual problem, everybody has to join hands to win this fight”.

The good example of cross sector collaboration led by WHO was the implementation of the framework convention on tobacco control and full smoking ban in public places which was introduced in Ukraine in December 2012.

“I think this is a real breakthrough that shows the leadership of the UN and the WHO that is bringing together a constituency and rallying it around a very important political theme and concept, - stresses Alessandra Tisot, the UN Resident Coordinator. - This is a second time when it happens beyond HIV/AIDS. For us it is very important and gives us a platform where all of us can work together – the UN, the civil society, and some of the government who will embrace the agenda”.

The Swiss Government with its Swiss Development Centre are supporting Ukraine in the fight against NCDs.

Watch the film following the link:

" />" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350" wmode="opaque" allowfullscreen="true">