World Health Day 2018
Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, everywhere
Over 800 million people around the world spend at least 10% of their household budget on health expenses for themselves, their sick child or another family member. This is one of the reasons why the world health day was started; to stimulate debates on bettering public health on a universal level.
The World Health Day is celebrated annually on the 7th of April which is also the founding day of the World Health Organisation. Every year, a theme is drawn from the current health issues globally.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the 68th anniversary of the first World Health Day. This year’s theme is focussing to inspire, motivate and guide Universal Health Coverage stakeholders to make commitments towards the UHC goals by calling upon world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
What is UHC?
Universal Health Coverage is based on ensuring that all people have access to quality health services anywhere and anytime they need them, without suffering financial hardship. Currently almost 100 million people worldwide, live in extreme poverty and are forced to pay for health services out of their own pockets; incurring catastrophic expenditure.
Catastrophic Expenditure also referred to as Catastrophic Health Expenditure (CHE) is when the payments for health services out of an individual’s pocket, consume a large amount of the person’s household income pushing the household into poverty.
UHC in detail is about:
- Ensuring a progressive expansion of coverage of health services and financial protection as more resources become available,
- Inclusive services for whole populations such as public health campaigns against malaria,
- Encompassing all components of the health system including healthcare providers, health technologies, quality assurance mechanisms, legislation and governance.
UHC is not about providing free coverage for all interventions, as no country can provide all services free on a sustainable basis. However, there is a huge need in fighting for quality, accessible and affordable health services for everyone internationally, which can be achieved through the WHD 2018 theme-Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere.
How will this theme inspire, motivate and guide UHC stakeholders?
- Inspire by highlighting the powers that policy makers have to transform the health of their nations by being part of the change their people require.
- Motivate by sharing the progress of the countries that have already started making admirable steps in UHC, so as to encourage others to find their way in making UHC a reality to their people.
- Guide by providing tools through which dialogue can be carried out on how UHC can be advanced domestically or through supporting efforts such as reducing out-of-pocket payments for medical services, in other countries.
No individual in any part of the world should have to choose between good health and other life necessities.
This is why at International Medical Treatment Ltd (IMT) we saw the need to create awareness on why universal health coverage should be everyone’s concern and not just for stakeholders in the health sector in every country. Because getting health services without falling into poverty as a result, is everyone’s right.
On this World Health Day, let us all play a part in pushing for quality, accessible, reliable and affordable healthcare for all.
IMT continues to work towards being Africa’s leading overseas medical treatment facilitator and we believe that through our services, more people from across Africa will be able to find access to quality and affordable medical treatment for complex conditions from our partner hospitals around the world.
Happy World Health Day and remember that quality, accessible and affordable health services is your right.