News and Opinions  –  2019

World Health Day 2019: Universal Health Coverage

Share the article

2019-04-04

On Sunday, 7 April 2019, World Health Day is celebrated calling us to act on Universal Health Coverage to ensure that all people, everywhere, have access to medical services and basic health care.

ReAct Latin America is participating in an event and launching a call on this year's topic on Universal Health Coverage, and ReAct Asia Pacific will participate in a radio discussion around this topic. ReAct will continue to raise awareness around the importance to recognise effective antibiotics as an essential part of achieving Universal Health Coverage through the year. The upcoming ReAct Africa Annual Conference this summer will feature the theme of Universal Health Coverage.

Photo: Khalid Rayhan Shawon, Photoshare.

Universal Health Coverage

Many countries are implementing global health initiatives aiming at slowing the emergence of antibiotic resistance and achieving universal health coverage by 2030, for which all parts of society need to participate in taking necessary actions. By aligning the aim of Universal Health Coverage, populations and countries can drive work to promote change in healthcare, agricultural and environmental systems which can have profound effects on people’s health. As such, Universal Health Coverage is a major contributor to promote equity through ‘health for all’ and with health as a human right.

Effective antibiotics at the centre of reaching UHC

Antibiotic resistance threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi and was named one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019 by the World Health Organization. Access to effective antibiotics is a cornerstone for ensuring robust Universal Health Coverage. While antibiotics are a pillar upon which much of our health stands, prevention of infections through good living conditions and good healthcare, and new treatments for infections remain underfunded and have not been acknowledged as essential for achieving Universal Health Coverage. We therefore emphasize the important role that working on sustainable access to effective antibiotics and managing antibiotic resistance will have for reaching Universal Health Coverage.

World Health Day in ReAct Latin America

ReAct Latin America will launch a Declaration (English; Spanish) on World Health Day on Universal Health Coverage. ReAct will also participate in the international symposium on Planetary Health, Universal Health Coverage and antibiotic resistance held at the Catholic University of Cuenca, Ecuador, on the 10th of April. The Declaration and the key messages in the symposium will focus on framing Universal Health Coverage within the larger perspective of Planetary Health and how antibiotic resistance is part of this ecosystem. For antibiotic resistance, just like for many other non-communicable diseases, it argues we need to not only focus on treating disease, but also focus underlying causes in broader human health, the degrading health of the planet and all forms of life living on it. Health for all should therefore be viewed much wider than only healthcare.

World Health Day in ReAct Asia Pacific

On the 8th of April, Philip Matthew of ReAct Asia Pacific will lead the discussions at a programme organised by a local radio station in Kerala, India, on Universal Health Coverage, to commemorate the World Health Day. In this program, ReAct will focus on certain domains of Universal Health Coverage, including the importance of primary health care, quality of health coverage, access to essential antibiotics and the relationship between Universal Health Coverage and antibiotic resistance. The one hour radio programme will be used as a sensitization exercise to inform the listeners about various models of Universal Health Coverage followed in multiple countries and discuss about the suitability/adaptability of each model in the Indian context.

ReAct Africa conference on UHC

ReAct Africa’s 2019 annual conference scheduled for 22-25th of July, in Nairobi, Kenya, will bring together various stakeholders from relevant fields of practice, to facilitate exchange of ideas and share different models and best practices of delivering sustainable quality health services, from a Universal Health Coverage perspective. It is critical with more African countries focusing and embracing UHC and yet the conversation of antibiotic resistance in Universal Health Coverage seems to be missing. It will be critical that sustainable access to quality-assured antibiotics and diagnostics are included in Universal Health Coverage. Participants will be drawn from the public, private, civil society organisations, insurance companies and academia.