Online Program

Responding to the Public Health Consequences of the Ukraine Crisis: An Opportunity for Global Health Diplomacy

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Timothy Mackey, MAS, PhD, Dept of Anesthesiology, UC San Diego - School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
On 1 May 2014, the Republic of Crimea officially announced it would end access to opioid substitution therapy, an essential harm reduction tool recognized by international organizations and virtually all other European countries. The policy development marks a critical reversal in the region’s fight against its growing HIV epidemic, and also threatens years of public health gains aimed at providing evidence-based and integrated treatment approaches to combat drug dependence and HIV. Beyond these risks, the Ukrainian conflict could also negatively impact control of other infectious diseases that are converging with HIV and injection drug use, such as multi-drug resistance tuberculosis and hepatitis C virus. The continuing conflict is also likely to have a significant negative impact on Ukraine’s fragile public health system leading to even worse population health outcomes than currently experienced by the country. In response to this crisis, the application of global health diplomacy principles represents a possible route of advocacy to ensure that HIV prevention, humane treatment of substance using populations, and improving public health outcomes in the region are pursued among concerned international stakeholders. In order to be effective, global health diplomacy efforts must be coordinated and advocated in all forms of diplomatic engagement, including at the core, multistakeholder, and informal levels and through existing channels such as the different human rights bodies of the United Nations as well as amongst other actors. Hence, the Ukraine crisis represents a critical moment for the practice and advancement of global health diplomacy in order to ensure global public health priorities are given their rightful place in foreign policy making to hopefully help in bringing resolution to the current conflict.

Learning Areas:

Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the deleterious public health consequences of the current political crisis in the Ukraine Assess the different diplomatic stakeholders, mechanisms, and instruments that can influence the process Formulate a global health diplomacy strategy to ensure public health is prioritized in the current Ukraine crisis

Keyword(s): Human Rights, War

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in global public health and have authored several publications on global health diplomacy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.