Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Join in for Universal Health Coverage

On Friday, 12 December, more than 500 organizations from over 100 countries will unite behind the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day – representing an unprecedented worldwide coalition urging access to quality health care for all.

The Uganda government has already taken recent steps to introduce a national health insurance scheme as early as next year. But there is still much work to be done, to ensure that all Ugandans have access to affordable care.

This date, December 12, will also mark the two-year anniversary of the United Nation’s unanimous resolution endorsing universal health coverage. More than 1 billion people lack access to basic health care, and another 100 million fall into poverty trying to access it each year. 

The ongoing Ebola outbreak is only the most recent reminder of the desperate need to strengthen health systems for everyone, everywhere.

There is clear picture yet that universal health coverage is affordable and attainable. For instance Rwanda our neighbour has achieved it. Other countries as diverse as Brazil, Thailand, Mexico and Ghana are implementing steps toward universal health coverage, reducing the number of families facing catastrophic health care costs. In addition, about 24% of the growth in “full income” between 2000 and 2011 in low- and middle-income countries resulted from health improvements.

report from the United Nations Secretary-General emphasized that universal health coverage is essential to ending extreme poverty and promoting sustainable growth for all. Once considered a pipe dream, universal health coverage, is an idea whose time has come.

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