#Providenciales, April 8, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Health care for all; sounds ambitious but it is the 2019 theme for World Health Day and the World Health Organization on the international commemoration explained its conviction and its mission.
Dr Tedros Adhanom, World Health Organization, Director General said: “Today, half the world’s population cannot access essential health services. Millions of women give birth without help from a skilled attendant; millions of children miss out on vaccinations against killer diseases, and millions suffer and die because they can’t get treatment for HIV, TB, and malaria.
In 2019, this is simply unacceptable.
The good news is that there is a growing movement to address these inequalities.”
The former Ethiopian politician shared from Geneva that a commitment through a document called, the Declaration of Astana, will place emphasis on primary health care globally.
“This was a key milestone. Strong and sustainable primary health care is the bedrock of universal health coverage, and the best defence against outbreaks and other health emergencies.
Although there will always be outbreaks and other disasters with health consequences, investing in stronger health systems can help to prevent or mitigate them.”
The WHO is not stopping there and Dr. Tedros on Friday reminded the world that there is a global commitment when it comes to access to affordable, quality health care.
In the Sustainable Development Goals, all countries have committed to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. To meet that target, we need to see 1 billion people benefitting from UHC in the next 5 years.
This is not an unattainable dream, nor will it require billions of dollars to implement. UHC is achievable, right here, right now, for all of us.
Health for all is possible even with health systems that are less than perfect – countries at many different income levels are making progress with the resources they have.
A meeting slated for later this year at the United Nations in New York will usher in the first significant steps to UHC or Universal Health Care.
“At that meeting, world leaders will have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to UHC to ensuring that every mother can give birth safely, that every child survives past its fifth birthday, and that no one dies simply because they are poor.”
In closing Dr. Tedros saluted health care workers across the planet.
“I pay tribute to health workers all over the world who are working to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. I especially thank the dedicated personnel from WHO and our partners who are working around the clock in extreme circumstances, including in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique and Yemen.”