Meeting on access to quality reproductive health services held in Ukraine
The Ministry of Health of Ukraine is making efforts to reform the country’s health system, particularly the areas of primary health care (PHC), health financing and public health. This creates both a need and an opportunity to review the provision of reproductive health care at the level of PHC, and to define which services should be provided within a state-guaranteed package for the Ukrainian population.
The national meeting “Improvement of access and quality of reproductive health services at PHC level in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” was led by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine with technical support from WHO and the United Nations Population Fund. It took place on 30 March 2017 in Kyiv, and was followed by a one-day working group meeting.
Both events brought together a wide range of governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders. National experts and regional health professionals discussed the current scope and quality of reproductive health service provision at the level of PHC to identify remaining gaps and ways forward.
Opening the meeting, Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Health Dr Oleksandr Linchevskyi encouraged participants to ensure that nobody is left behind in relation to access to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services.
Dr Marthe Everard, WHO Representative to Ukraine, emphasized the importance of further progress in developing the national reproductive health programme: “WHO is well aware of the reduction of maternal and child mortality in Ukraine over the past 15 years due to improved access to family planning services, improved quality of care during pregnancy, and reduced sexually transmitted infections. The development of a new comprehensive reproductive health programme is an important step that the Ministry of Health of Ukraine is currently undertaking, which will help to build on the achievements made so far to improve the quality of reproductive health services.”
During the meeting the desk review of reproductive health service provision at the level of PHC in Ukraine was presented. The draft report initiated a discussion on achievements made, current challenges and ways forward in improving access to reproductive health services. Suggestions regarding the scope of reproductive health services within the state-guaranteed benefit package were discussed, agreed upon and will be provided to the Ministry.
Ministry of Health and WHO cooperation
Improving sexual and reproductive health has been a priority of the joint work of WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine for many years. Their work in this area, which is set out in their biennial collaborative agreement, reflects and supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in achieving priority targets on reproductive, maternal, child and adolescent health, as well as gender rights.