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Universal Health Coverage Day

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By Timothy Akintola

UHC saddled with propagating efficient world-class healthcare systems.

In a bid to revitalize the healthcare system and achieve Universal Health Coverage, the Nigerian government is putting in place a resilient primary health care system. The World Health Organization (WHO) also recognizes the health system, as well as the people, with a major aim of promoting, restoring and maintaining health across the globe. This is one poignant reason for the annual celebration of the Universal Health Coverage Day. This celebration is shaped to draw the attention of global leaders to the health challenges and the significant need to ensure their citizens with quality and affordable healthcare services.

With this year’s theme titled “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all”, there is an immense emphasis placed on the importance of equity, trust, heathy surroundings, accountability and health sector investment for the sustainability of a strong health sector. The Universal Health Coverage is saddled with propagating the significance of building efficient world-class healthcare systems and having access to this high quality healthcare services for ensuring global growth. As a result of the possibility of impacting the global social and economic development, evident disparities within the various segments of the healthcare system have been concisely emphasized.

WHO survey shows that 38% of healthcare facilities lack water sources.

Also, the Universal Health Coverage, as a result of its pivotal importance in human development was recently added to the new Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030 which have been adopted by the United State. In most countries, inclusive healthcare have become a rudimentary due, especially in poor economic situations. One major element of the health coverage is water. In fact, WaterAid in a report, noted that the national infrastructures of numerous nations cannot even support the healthcare delivery mechanisms of the first world countries, as it would not provide basics like water and electricity.

In fact, a survey by the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 2015, it was reported that over 38 percent of the healthcare facilities covered lacked access to water sources and another 35 percent lacked the necessary implements for effective hand washing. The survey concluded that ineffective cleaning of facilities and inability to prevent infection would remotely impact their ability to deliver safe and effective healthcare services. Importantly, the WASH initiative enacted by WHO and UNICEF is a strategy to ensure that all healthcare facilities across the globe are implemented with adequate water, sanitation and hygiene services by 2030.

Approximately half the world’s population lacks healthcare access.

It is again necessary to point out that everyone regardless of class is hugely affected by the issue of universal healthcare and thus, it is quite imperative that the situation be assessed for the identification of evident discrepancies within the healthcare system. With Covid-19 putting the world’s healthcare system on a major test and whilst leaders are focusing their attention on healthcare importance and ensuring that demands and changes are enacted, the International Universal Health Coverage Policy is also aimed at ensuring a consistent, observable progress. However, while some see healthcare as a fundamental right, others see it as a commodity. Though universal health care has been actualized in most industrialized countries, it is still a dream for many poor countries.

At least half the world’s population, according to the WHO, still lacks access to basic healthcare and as a result, the global commitment of achieving the Universal Health Coverage, as a part of the sustainable development goals, is overtly reaffirmed. One fundamental issue with universal health coverage, according to experts lies in the fact that healthcare payments push approximately 100 million people into poverty annually. While some of these challenges are global, global and regional surveys, financial investment and information gathering, with technical and global supports can play immense roles in salvaging the situation.

UHC, a necessary step towards ensuring social inclusion and equity.

Experts also posit that infrastructural development for efficient training of healthcare workers, number increase of health facilities from hospitals to primary healthcare centers, improving information centers and ensuring the availability of medications and medical technologies are important to establishing universal health coverage. UHC is thus seen as a necessary step in ensuring social inclusion and equity across the globe. As many nations make immense progress towards UHC, the middle and low incline countries, including Nigeria are also creating paradigms to a general access to quality healthcare.

Related link

WHO: Website

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