Odessa, Ukraine begins Zero TB journey

In 2017, Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov signed a declaration announcing the intention to align with the Zero TB Initiative and Zero TB Cities project.  The goal is to bring comprehensive TB care to the city in an urgent fashion and to prioritize patients first and foremost in the city of almost 1 million people.  To support this vision, in January, 2018, an initial collaborative visit was undertaken by independent experts, as well as representatives of the Zero TB Initiative's founding partners Advance Access & Delivery and the Stop TB Partnership to the city to work hand in hand on this critical challenge.

The vision of the city government and local partners is supported by local public sector funds as well as a Global Fund grant for Eastern European and Central Asia regional collaboration to bring comprehensive TB treatment supports to bear, as well as on connected challenges related to HIV, homelessness, and drug use. This effort is supported by a civil society partnership led by the Alliance for Public Health, based in Kiev, who coordinates efforts among non-profit partners and international agencies.

While this visit was underway, on January 16th, the city authorities held a major press conference outlining ambitious reforms and critical opportunities, as the city and Ukraine overall undergo major health sector reform.  In addition to city council members and local organizations, there were representatives from the Zero TB Cities Project, Zero TB Initiative and the annual global conference "City Health International", who will be hosting a major event looking at city-based health initiatives in Odessa in September of 2018. Info here: https://cityhealthinternational.org/

"We are looking for leaders in the fight against tuberculosis throughout the world, working with the best and the most progressive. The city of Odessa is ready to introduce innovations and best practices at the level of the city government. This is an excellent example of cooperation for the future ", said Viorel Soltan, Team leader of Country & Community Support for Impact of STOP TB Partnership, part of the visiting delegation.