WHO/Europe and Ukrainian Government sign Biennial Collaborative Agreement for 2020-2021

WHO/Europe and the Government of Ukraine, represented by the Ministry of Health, have signed a Biennial Collaborative Agreement (BCA) for 2020–2021. Signed by Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, and Maxym Stepanov, Minister of Health of Ukraine during a virtual ceremony, the agreement strengthens cooperation to improve the health of the Ukrainian population, and accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“WHO supports Ukraine in building a healthier future for its citizens. To improve the population’s health and access to high-quality health care, this Biennial Collaborative Agreement with the Ukrainian government sets out a framework for cooperation for 2020–2021. The agreement will strengthen the Ukrainian health system and health governance, and help ensure delivery of high-quality, people-centred health services,” said Dr Kluge.

Mr Stepanov added: “The Ministry of Health and WHO have a long history of effective collaboration, contributing to sustainable changes in the health of the Ukrainian population. We welcome the signing of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement with WHO, which will strengthen our cooperation and allow us to establish a long-term health strategy, continue implementing transformative changes in the health system for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and ensure access to essential health-care services, including better access to mental health services and vaccines”.

Based on the European Programme of Work (EPW), WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW 13) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the BCA aims to support Ukraine in maximizing the opportunities for improving population health, reducing health inequities and strengthening overall health governance in Ukraine.

Priority areas

Under the agreement, the 2 parties agreed to collaborate in 5 core priority areas:

  • continuous support for the COVID-19 response across Ukraine;
  • implementation of health reforms and development of a comprehensive national health strategy to achieve the SDGs;
  • addressing mental health needs and improving access to essential health services;
  • effective immunization coverage;
  • response to humanitarian needs in Ukraine.

“Over the past years, Ukraine has made bold steps in reforming its health system to achieve equal access to essential health services, with a focus on primary health care, and has progressed to provide access to affordable, safe and effective medicines and vaccines. In 2020, WHO/Europe is contributing to the COVID-19 response and simultaneously making efforts to continue health system strengthening. Our objective is to collaborate with numerous partners to improve health outcomes for the Ukrainian population in the coming decade,” said Dr Jarno Habicht, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine.

On signing the agreement, aimed at enhancing strategic collaboration, WHO/Europe and the Ukrainian government will work together to improve access to quality essential health services, medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and devices for primary health care. They will also work towards reducing financial hardships for the Ukrainian population, accelerating the country’s preparedness for health emergencies, strengthening country capacity in data and innovation, and addressing the economic, social and environmental determinants of health.

The BCA is aligned with the European Programme of Work 2020–2025 – “United Action for Better Health in Europe”, adopted earlier this year with the purpose of strengthening the leadership of health authorities in the WHO European Region, while accelerating progress towards achieving the SDGs, and ensuring no one is left behind.

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