Ukraine’s Healthcare Resilience an Example for EU

In Eblast by Brian Shepherd

The Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the European Union welcomed AHF Europe to a debate titled “Striving for better health resilience during times of crisis – Best practices from Ukraine and beyond,” where leading health experts spoke on how to support the physical and mental health of providers and patients during crises.

(left to right) Moderator Andrius Tapinas, Anne Simon, Andrew Williams, Yaroslava Lopatina, María del Rocío Hernández Soto, Nerija Kupreviciene

“This war already took too much, and not only from the healthcare sector,” added Indré Karciauskaite, Policy Director for AHF Europe. “Let’s not allow it to divide us or abandon the hope for a positive outcome. Let’s learn from these everyday heroes and the experiences we heard today and build back stronger, hopefully with Ukraine in the European family.”

AHF Ukraine Country Program Director Dr. Yaroslava Lopatina (right) shares her experiences of maintaining a robust HIV/AIDS treatment program amid an ongoing war.

Along with using lessons from Ukraine to further a people-centered approach to healthcare across Europe, the debate showed how governments, civil society, and international donors can unite to prevent further disruptions of essential healthcare services such as vaccinations and HIV treatment delivery during wartime.

Maryna Slobodnichenko, Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine for European Integration, speaks virtually at the debate where she thanked the European community for its support.

“In this event, we saw the will and the way, so we see that there is money allocated by the governments, there is a will from NGOs, and there are very clear tasks given to us by Ukrainians to help their mental health, to help their prosthetics, to help their doctors,” said Andrius Tapinas, Lithuanian journalist and activist for Ukraine who moderated the event. “So, I think the battle plans for helping Ukraine are drawn very clearly, and this event shows exactly that.”

The debate informed the next steps that must be taken by AHF Europe and fellow civil society organizations and governments to build crisis-resilient health systems and how to better implement legal instruments in place and under negotiation, such as the EU Global Health Strategy, Pandemic Accord, pharmaceutical legislation, or European Health Union package. Only with a sector-wide effort can healthcare overcome crisis.

Jurga Kasputiene, Deputy Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU, speaks on the country’s position and recognized the importance of working with civil society.

AHF thanks its official partner, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, and the Lithuanian Permanent Representation to the EU for providing the venue for the debate and technical assistance in a fully-equipped and beautiful room.

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