Southern Ukraine AIDS Education Centre (SUAEC)

Based at the Odessa Oblast Hospital and established in June 2003, the Southern Ukraine AIDS Education Centre (SUAEC) used a hands-on, team-based approach to train physicians, nurses, and other professionals involved in the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS. The Centre's expertise lies in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, pediatric HIV/AIDS, and the prevention of occupational exposure. In 2003, SUAEC was named a WHO Centre of Excellence.

Its PMTCT training curriculum is consistent with WHO and national PMTCT strategies and protocols, and reflects specific adaptations that have resulted in a 75% decrease in MTCT over a two-year period at the Odessa Oblast Maternity Hospital.

SUAEC instructors—many of who are faculty members at the Odessa State Medical University—have had practical experience providing care to HIV-infected women and their children since the late 1980s. All SUAEC instructors have received comprehensive training in women's health, neonatal resuscitation, infection control, and PMTCT at US clinical settings through the AIHA partnership program. They have also participated in reproductive health programs and HIV counseling trainings organized by JHPIEGO and PATH. UNICEF has certified four Odessa Centre instructors as national PMTCT trainers and some Centre instructors are also conducting scientific research related to the topic.

Because of its foundation in a highly successful model clinical program, the Odessa Centre works very closely with Odessa PLWHA organizations. NGO members take part in the PMTCT trainings as instructors. Their main area of expertise is in providing counseling to HIV-positive women and coordinating cooperation between healthcare institutions and NGOs on early identification, referral, and follow up care to HIV-positive women and their families.

SUAEC is equipped with educational A/V equipment and other resources to effectively conduct trainings and is co-located with a superior clinical site that provides a full range of practical training experiences. The Centre has full Internet access as well as access to a wide range of web-based databases and information sources.

Contact information: 

Southern Ukraine AIDS Education Centre (SUAEC)
26 Acad. Zabolotnogo St., Odessa, Ukraine