Saturday 7th April sees the arrival of World Health Day – an annual event created by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO was created based on the idea that all people have a right to the highest possible level of health – with a current push to support countries across the globe in moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). That’s why this year’s theme is “universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere”, with a slogan of “health for all”.

2018 marks the 70th anniversary year for World Health Day, and sees the organisation calling on world leaders to make good on the agreements they made in 2015 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. The focus of these goals was to ensure that “everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.”

What is universal health coverage?

According to the WHO, “Universal health coverage is about ensuring all people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship.”

The Director-General of WHO has said: “No one should have to choose between death and financial hardship. No one should have to choose between buying medicine and buying food.” This means making health services universal and available to all, with the organisation predicting that this means shifting from designing health systems around diseases and institutions, to designing systems around people, for people.

Stats show that approximately 100 million people have been forced into poverty due to paying for medical bills or services, with around half the world lacking access to appropriate medical services. Take a look at this video from the WHO, explaining exactly what UHC means:

Find out more about World Health Day, and how you can get involved, via the World Health Organisation. Or, visit the interactive microsite dedicated to the Universal Health Coverage mission. Keep an eye out for the #HealthForAll hashtag on social media, too!

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