Policy responses for Ukraine - HSRM


Policy responses for Ukraine

1. Preventing transmission

The section on PREVENTING TRANSMISSION includes information on key public health measures that aim to prevent the further spread of the disease. It details how countries are advising the general public and people who (might) have the disease to prevent further spread, as well as measures in place to test and identify cases, trace contacts, and monitor the scale of the outbreak.

1.1 Health communication

In January 2020, official recommendations on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette were translated into the Ukrainian language by the WHO country office and handed over to the Ukrainian health authorities. The recommendations were adapted and issued in January, then posted in different formats on social media channels, such the social media pages of  the Ukrainian Public Health Centre of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine (UPHC) https://www.facebook.com/phc.org.ua/ the Ukrainian Ministry of Health https://www.facebook.com/moz.ukr/  the WHO Country Office in Ukraine https://www.facebook.com/WHOUkraine/ as well as on the official health authorities’ web pages https://www.phc.org.ua/ and https://moz.gov.ua/ in the period January – March 2020.

Additionally, in early March, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine set up a website https://covid19.com.ua/ containing recommendations on hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, while at the same time the Ukrainian Ministry of Health launched a Telegram messenger channel https://t.me/COVID19_Ukraine Furthermore, the National Health Service of Ukraine (NHSU) regularly provides updates to patients and healthcare workers as well as to local governments https://nszu.gov.ua/covid. Moreover, several government bodies use messenger services to communicate with the public including SMS, Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook.

Shortly before the movement restrictions, which took effect on 12 March 2020, the recommendations on social distancing were issued and posted through official channels, including https://www.facebook.com/moz.ukr/ and https://www.phc.org.ua/, as well as  https://www.facebook.com/moz.ukr/ 

The Ministry of Health together with the Ukrainian Public Health Centre and other institutions involved in the COVID-19 response have arranged regular briefings, which are streamed live online on the Ministry of Health Facebook page. Some media (UNIAN, 1+1 TV channel) also stream the briefings. The Ministry of Health is holding short online daily press briefings at https://www.facebook.com/moz.ukr/. Situation updates on Ukraine and brief global updates are posted daily on the Ministry of Health Facebook page and via Viber messenger.

Less often, once a week, statements and explanations regarding the current situation are made by the Minister of Health in the format of text messages or short video addresses. The President of Ukraine also addresses the public through his channels, on average once every three days, using short video addresses.

Furthermore, the Directorate of regional development and decentralization of the Presidential Office of Ukraine has launched a monitoring dashboard on numbers of hospitalized patients with suspected and confirmed cases: https://public.tableau.com/profile/publicviz#!/vizhome/monitor_15841091301660/sheet0 
The information is updated on a daily basis since 27 February 2020.
The Ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Culture translated COVID-19 related information materials, including infographics, into other minority languages (13) such as Polish, Crimean Tatar, Hungarian and Romanian. Layouts for downloading and printing are available in Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1-w9AMNNgbynN8j7arIQ2IVnai9VZ00F3?fbclid=IwAR0T3W2GHwzw5UJDWTVZ-I5JBaswDtD9rbsBBqb25oZz2_wfURtszRTTJx0 

On 20 April 2020 the National Health Service of Ukraine launched a chat bot with COVID-19 instructions for physicians, ambulances, local authorities and patients. https://nszu.gov.ua/novini/chat-bot-z-instrukciyami-shchodo-covid-19-226 

On 24 April the UPHC launched a website (https://covid19.phc.org.ua) that gathers up-to-date information on coronavirus infections for healthcare professionals.

As of May 6, an online platform containing information on the use of medicines for patients with COVID-19 has been created by the State Expert Center (SEC) of the Ministry of Health launched on 30 April. The resource is intended to inform citizens and doctors about the medicines used in the treatment of coronavirus disease.

Lastly, humanitarian organizations, including UN agencies and the Ukraine Red Cross, are sharing key messages on COVID-19, as well as local authorities have launched their own campaigns.
On the eve of the Easter holidays (including Catholic and Orthodox Easter) the Presidential Office, the Government and MOH intensified the message of the campaign “Stay at Home” through all communication channels. 

Update July 2:
The WHO, together with the MoH and UPHC, has launched a Behaviour Study aimed to provide support to Ukrainian authorities in formative research to receive data about citizens’ risk perceptions, knowledge and behavior linked to COVID-19.

Update October 09:
The WHO, together with MOH and UPHC, has conducted a Behaviour Study aimed to provide support to Ukrainian authorities in formative research to receive data about citizens’ risk perceptions, knowledge and behavior linked to COVID-19.

WHO continues community engagement and created and released numbers of news #askWHO videos in Ukrainian with WHO experts. Project goal is to provide the community with credible information on the most disturbing questions on COVID-19. Also WHO disseminated the COVID-19 Risk Communication Package for frontline responders and healthcare workers in key COVID-19 healthcare facilities across Ukraine to inform health care workers on workplace safety regulations. In addition, series of video with people who recovered from COVID-19 have been reliesed.

Additional credits:
Dr Elina Dale; Dr Vitalii Stetsyk; Dr Liudmyla Slobodianyk;Mr Artem Skrypnyk;Ms Olga Demeshko; Ms Anastasiya Brylova; Ms Tetiana Dolhova