The Ministry of Health told how Ukraine is preparing for a potential “disease X” pandemic

The Ministry of Health told how Ukraine is preparing for a potential “disease X” pandemic

Ukraine is preparing for a potential “disease X” pandemic based on the experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was stated by Minister of Health Viktor Lyashko at a briefing dedicated to “disease X” at the Ukraine-Ukrinform media center.

“In the health care system, personnel resources have been provided, the material and technical base has been improved, and a global partnership has been launched, which allows us to be ready (for challenges related to disease X – ed.)”, – says the minister.

According to him, the Ministry of Health has identified 3 components that are key in preparing for a potential pandemic. It is about:

  • availability of personnel;
  • a network of laboratories;
  • partnership with the countries of the European Union.
Photo: andresr/Getty Images

About 15,000 workers currently work in the health care system, the minister says.

“Over the past 3 years, we have almost doubled the financing of the health care industry – in 2021, the state allocated UAH 2.6 billion, and now – UAH 4.9 billion.

This means that we pay specialists who work in the system and will be able to respond to the spread of a potential pathogen.” Viktor Lyashko said.

In addition, the material and technical base is being improved in health facilities.

Last year, 193 institutions received a package from the National Health Service of Ukraine entitled Preparedness for epidemics or outbreaks of infectious diseasessays the minister.

“It assumes that specialists work in the institution, who must undergo appropriate training. Intensive care units and the necessary equipment must be equipped.

Also, on the basis of these institutions, a stock is formed – a medical basket is a list of appropriate medicines with a 3-month supply.” – added the head of the Ministry of Health.

He added that the ministry has strengthened cooperation with European countries so that, if necessary, Ukraine could receive the necessary medicines from other countries.

What is “disease X”?

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Disease X” is a conventional name potential infectionwhich could cause a pandemic.

COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, became somewhat of an example of “disease X” when it caused a pandemic in late 2019.

In 2017, after the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, the WHO added “disease X” to a short list of pathogens considered a priority for research. From 2014 to 2016, this disease caused 11 thousand deaths.

WHO has decided to update the list of priority pathogens that can cause outbreaks or pandemics to focus on their research. This was especially true in the area of ​​vaccines, tests and treatments.

The organization has identified priority areas of research and “precautionary measures” regarding the disease, which is not yet known or not widespread among people.

In addition, the WHO has drawn attention to more than 25 families of viruses and bacteria that circulate in the wild and have great epidemic potential. The current list includes:

  • COVID-19;
  • Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever;
  • Ebola virus disease;
  • Marburg virus disease;
  • Lassa fever;
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV);
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV),
  • Nipah fever and other henipaviruses;
  • Rift Valley fever;
  • Zika fever;
  • “disease X”.

These are diseases that pose a public health risk due to their epidemic potential and against which there are no or insufficient countermeasures.

But unlike the other diseases on the list, “disease X” is now a medical metaphor.

Earlier we reported that cases of a new subvariant of “Omicron” – “Jenny” were recorded in Ukraine.

Read also: No panic. What is “disease X” and why is everyone talking about it?

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