The AVK Sozialprojekte Non-Profit Company (LLC)

was founded in March 2009 with the aim to strengthen and extend in the neighbouring Eastern and Northern European EU countries commitment to humanitarian help in the priority area HIV/AIDS.

The clinic partnership existing since 2006 between the Donetsk AIDS Centre in Ukraine and the Clinic for Internal Medicine – Infectiology / Gastroenterology of the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre in Berlin supplied the background for the company’s foundation.

Doctors’ Exchange: Ward Round in the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre
Doctors’ Exchange: Ward Round in the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre

 

The Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre (AVK)

In the field of Infectiology HIV/AIDS  the Berlin Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre is one of the leading special interdisciplinary centres in Germany. For more than 20 years now, the AVK is conducting observations for visiting colleagues from all over the world.

The explanation of a visiting physician from Ukraine called our attention to the dramatic situation of people infected with HIV and the inadequate care for people living with AIDS in Eastern European countries. Hence various specialist groups (medicine, health care, social work) of the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinical Centre, the Felix Pflegeteam gGmbH and the Berlin Aids-Hilfe e.V. are since 2001 involved in initiatives to fight the HIV pandemic in Eastern Europe, and especially in Ukraine.

 

Commitment in Ukraine

Thus physicians and health care workers initiated together with connect plus e.V. an exchange programme with a wide variety of medical experts from Russia, Moldavia, Poland, and Ukraine. This context gave us the opportunity to participate in the development of WHO guidelines for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), i.e. a regional community of former Soviet Republics. When the anti-retroviral therapy was introduced in 2004 in Ukraine, we decided to support the national work of a NGO in terms of training physicians, health care and social workers.

The work of the Regional Knowledge Hub for the Care and Treatment of HIV/AIDS in Eurasia, an independent NGO, was funded by the Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American International Health Alliance (AIHA). Conversations and experiences exchanged on official journeys made clear that a closer co-operation was required in order to impact the pandemic more sustainable. Thus the idea of a Ukrainian project partnership began to take more and more shape.

 

The clinic partnership Donetsk - Berlin

There were several reasons for the decision on the clinic partnership in Donetsk in 2006:

Ukraine has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in Europe and international organisations consider the oblast Donetsk as one of the six worst affected regions.

What is more there already existed a vivid and interested exchange with Ukrainian physicians and health care workers, who lived and worked in Donetsk. And in this context the Ukrainian side voiced the wish for support in building and expanding a care structure for HIV positive people and PLWA. Based on the experiences of the Knowledge Hub and taking cultural idiosyncrasies into consideration, the clinic partnership Donetsk - Berlin was carefully built. This caution is the fundament of a trusting, fair and cooperative cooperation, thus assuring the project’s stable sustainability.

Doctors’ Exchange: Visiting the AVK Ward
Doctors’ Exchange: Visiting the AVK Ward

 

Focal Points and Goals of the Clinic partnership

Today the main tasks of the project are education and further training of physicians in diagnostic methods and therapies as well as in technical support and procurement of tangible means in building and expanding institutions for treatment, care and prevention.

Simultaneously the construction and establishment of a bilingual telematics platform is under way, which will provide an Internet based professional exchange, different forms of further training and material on the current medical state of knowledge in the area of HIV/AIDS.

Another special feature of the bilateral clinic partnership project is that the needs and interests of the patients are considered in health care.  Modelled on and using the experiences of the Schöneberger Modell (named after the Berlin borough) ambulant, stationary, and psychosocial care shall be dovetailed in cooperation with self-help organisations.

The variety in implementing the clinic partnership strengthens competence, expands urgently needed capacities and hence enlarges the agency of the Donetsk AIDS Centre.

 

Outlook

As a result of the positive response to the project people in the healthcare sector from other regions in Ukraine and from neighbouring EU countries with increasing HIV prevalence and tuberculosis diagnoses turn to the partnership projects, wishing build co-operations along the same lines.

Therefore the initially voluntary working individuals from the medical, public health, health care and social affairs sector decided to found the non-profit company AVK Sozialprojekte (Social Projects) and to continue expanding humanitarian help.

 

Cooperation Partners in Germany:

 

In Ukraine we are working together with:

 

AVK Sozialprojekte is a non-profit company, and especially eligible for promotion. Donations are tax deductible.