Everyone, everywhere — Universal health coverage

Everyone, everywhere — Universal health coverage

UHC has become a buzzword in the health sector as WHO and the World Bank are promoting this as a way of preventing people from falling into poverty due to heavy out-of-pocket expenditure during medical treatment.

Ladipo further called for collaborative efforts of government and stakeholders to ensure improved access to quality healthcare services by the populace.

"UHC is firmly based on the WHO constitution of 1948 declaring health a fundamental human right and on the Health for All agenda set by the Alma Ata declaration in 1978". The day was first marked in 1949. Sri Lanka celebrates its 70th anniversary under the theme "Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere".

The World Health Organisation was founded on the principle that everyone in the world should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health.

Universal health coverage, according to the WHO, means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

Bangladesh has made progress in the health service delivery and reduced the burden of infectious diseases.

It is also the impetus behind the current organisation-wide drive to support countries in moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

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Ladipo frowned at the way and manner some health workers abuse patients, describing such attitude as inimical to the realisation of UHC.

More than 800 million people (almost 12 per cent of the world's population) spend at least 10 per cent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member.

Experience has illustrated, time and again, that Universal Health Coverage is achieved when political will is strong.

Incurring catastrophic expenses for health care is a global problem.

The UN General Assembly on Dec 12 in 2012 adopted a resolution emphasising health as a critical element in worldwide development.

While the theme's basic objective is to provide every person in need with medical services, irrespective of their purchasing capacity, Indian statistics sadly reveal some terrible facts. IVF services offered on the NHS is another example of how, locally, health coverage is being provided to all.

World Health Day will shine a spotlight on the need for UHC - and the advantages it can bring.