The World health Day was first celebrated in the year 1950, this is the same year when WHO was established. The theme of the day this year is, "Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere".
The event focused on deliberating on the various facets of UHC and the way forward in the country, sharing perspectives from the government, experts, non-government organisations, medical colleges, civil service organisations and the private sector.
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The World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has urged political leaders to ensure that all citizens, no matter where they live or who they are, can access quality healthcare services without facing financial hardship, as captured in the vows they made towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015.
According to Moeti, WHO is ever-ready to support Member States to achieve their SDG health target by 2030.
According to a report in WHO, at least half of the world's population do not have full coverage of basic health services. However, nearly 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty, forced to survive on just US$ 1.90 or less a day, because they have to pay for health services out of their own pockets.
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Access to UHC can prevent people from being pushed into poverty because they are forced to pay for the costs of their health care.
Ensuring universal health coverage will help strengthen health security by making it easier to contain the spread of infectious diseases and respond effectively to natural disasters that the WHO South-East Asia Region is prone to. Without it, the lives and welfare of millions of people and communities around the world are negatively affected. We must continue to strive for health coverage that is for all people everywhere and which leaves no one behind, Dr Khetrapal Singh said.
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