On December 13–16, WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge paid his first official visit to Ukraine.
During the visit, Dr Kluge met with Prime Minister of Ukraine Mr Denys Shmyhal, Minister of Health of Ukraine Mr Maxym Stepanov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Mr Dmytro Kuleba, Head of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Public Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance Mr Mykhailo Radutsky, Member of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Public Health, Medical Assistance and Medical Insurance Ms Olha Stefanyshyna, Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Ms Olena Vysotska, Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine and Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Mr Matti Maasikas, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine Ms Osnat Lubrani, the United Nations Country Team in Ukraine, Heads of Cooperation from diplomatic missions and international organizations, as well as Health Cluster partners.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge, putting health systems worldwide to the test,” said Dr Hans Kluge. “WHO works closely with the Ukrainian government and national and international partners in Ukraine to foster the COVID-19 outbreak response, ensure socioeconomic recovery as well as improve health outcomes for Ukrainian citizens.”
During the country visit, Dr Kluge also visited the Kyiv Regional Laboratory and the Primary Health Care Facility No.2, expressing appreciation for the continuous efforts and professionalism of laboratory staff and health care workers on the frontline against COVID-19, putting their health at risk to save patients’ lives.
A 3-day visit offered an opportunity to discuss COVID-19 preparedness and response, the health system reform process, the humanitarian response and socioeconomic recovery, and the importance of strengthening prison health system capacity in Ukraine during meetings with high-level representatives of the Government of Ukraine and international development partners.