Ukraine has the second largest HIV epidemic in eastern and central Europe; an estimated 220,000 citizens were living with the disease as of January 2016. As part of national efforts to help curb the impact and spread of HIV, the Ukrainian government is expanding and scaling up HIV services – training is an integral part of this scale-up.
To this end, the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) is working with national partners in Ukraine to build local capacity to provide high-quality continuing medical education (CME) on HIV and related topics.
Most recently, I-TECH arranged for representatives from the Ukrainian Center for Socially Dangerous Disease Control (UCDC) of the Ministry of Health and the Ukrainian Family Medicine Training Center, based at Bogomolets National Medical University, to participate in a weeklong study tour in Washington, D.C.
“Participants found the study tour to be extremely informative and timely given reforms to health workforce development currently under way in Ukraine,” said Anna Shapoval, I-TECH Ukraine Country Representative. “The information obtained and contacts established through the study tour will help to inform development of an HIV-focused professional medical association in Ukraine.”
The aim of the association will be to advocate on behalf of medical providers, educate health professionals on new developments in clinical practice and relevant legislation and other issues affecting HIV medicine and patients, and potentially provide crucial CME opportunities.
Tour participants met with representatives from CME training networks, HIV-focused professional medical associations, and organizations involved with CME accreditation and physician licensure in the U.S. Highlights from the tour include:
- Meeting with the U.S. Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on HRSA’s mission and activities, including the AIDS Education Training Center Program and other initiatives to improve HIV services in the U.S.
- Informative sessions with the Maryland State Board of Physicians and Federation of State Medical Boards on the role of state medical boards in physician licensure
- An overview and discussion on CME accreditation requirements and standards for commercial support
- Meetings with various HIV-focused professional medical associations to discuss their establishment, funding models, advocacy work, CME and certification offerings, and lessons learned
The study tour participants identified several aspects of the U.S. CME and licensure systems to explore further and potentially apply in Ukraine, including decentralized licensure, nongovernmental CME accreditation, and diverse CME providers such as universities and professional associations.