Most vicious form of tuberculosis spreading in Ukraine
Vitaly Rudenko, Head of the Public Movement Ukrainians against Tuberculosis has spoken out over the chronic underfunding from year to year of treatment against tuberculosis.
“During the first 5 months of 2011 not one anti-tuberculosis drug was purchased. The Ministry of Health in six months has not held a tender for purchase of medication. Nor has the problem arisen this year. It has been continuing year in, year out due to the system of late holding of tenders. In 2008 we even approached the Prosecutor General over criminal behaviour with respect to Ukrainian citizens”.
The lack of first order medicine is leading to a situation, he says, where treatment against tuberculosis is stopping. The disease then becomes multi-resistant, that is, it takes on the most dangerous form.
“Ordinary tuberculosis is treated fairly quickly and relatively inexpensively. However the multi-resistant form is very difficult to treat, and the medicine is extremely expensive”. According to his information, in several regions medication is either running out or is already insufficient.
“Money for the purchase from public funding is allocated in accordance with the State Programme on Countering Tuberculosis for 5 years. According to the Budget Code, the regions do not have the right to finance the same outgoings that are funded from the State Budget. There is an impasse, where regions which are running out of medication, don’t have the right to buy it from the local budget”.
Mr Rudenko is convinced that Ukraine should follow the WHO recommendations and make it mandatory to create a year’s supply of anti-tuberculosis medication. Then late tenders would not have an adverse effect on patients.