Call for Indicators on People Participation In Health Promotion For Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Posted by on May 7, 2019 in Health | Comments Off on Call for Indicators on People Participation In Health Promotion For Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Call for Indicators on People Participation In Health Promotion For Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
This posting coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the 1978 Alma Ata
Declaration on Health for All. Please read and comment.

Let us start by drawing attention to the fact that among the current SDG indicators on UHC, there is no indicator that explicitly monitors household and community participation and action for health. Yet we know that the demand side of UHC is critical for supporting health
promotion, wellbeing and building societies that enable healthy lifestyles, and for influencing the habits of individuals and the behavior of institutions.
The demand side facilitates effective engagement of the people and the community in building strong, resilient and responsive health systems.

I have just arrived at Astana, Kazakhstan for the 40th Anniversary of the “Health for All Declaration” and the Global Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC) 25 – 26 October, 2018. It presents an opportunity for us to reflect on how we will monitor PHC especially
its contribution to our progress towards achievement of health for all, UHC and SDGs.

This population ownership and engagement cannot be optional because the Declaration state that people have a duty and a right to full participation in influencing their own health and health care.

We know that achieving health outcomes and designing effective health services delivery programs at country level are constantly faced with the challenge of getting the right balance between health promotion and disease prevention on the one hand and treatment of diseases on the other. At the World Health Summit (WHS) in Berlin, 14 – 16
October, 2018 questions were still being asked whether UHC was about providing
health care and not about ensuring the enjoyment of holistic health as
defined in the constitutions of WHO and the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights.
There were similar debates during the 71st World Health Assembly in May, 2018, on what the face of our effort on SDGs and UHC ought to look like. Will it be actions to promote healthy living so as to ensure that people do not lose their existing inborn health and that they delay
the need for health care for as long as possible? Will it be health financing and
health insurance for accessing services to treat illness and diseases?
At the WHO Afro Regional Committee in August, 2018 statements by several Health Ministers suggested that establishing National Health Insurance schemes is all that they needed to do to achieve UHC.
This is a matter for concern particularly when Dr. Tedros the Director General of WHO frequently states that “all roads lead to UHC.” The “Global Action Plan for healthy lives and well-being for all” was launched by WHO and eight partner health institutions at the Berlin
WHS where, among others, Dr Tedros stated that “health is made and sustained by families” in their homes and communities.
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