The next high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is to be held in New York on September 23 for UN and WHO representatives. The summit will focus on speeding up the timetable to UHC implementation by ensuring access to basic health services and medicines. The event is set to mark a milestone in the WHO’s progress towards fulfilling its strategic plan for the next five years, which includes ensuring UHC for one billion people. The expectation is that the countries attending will issue a UHC policy statement.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the summit will be a turning point in ensuring that “no one is ever again left unattended by health services because they are inaccessible or unable to pay for them,” adding that the UHC is both a political and an economic choice. “When a country invests in health, the benefits are visible in productivity and economic growth,” said the WHO official.
Meanwhile, the WHO-led Civil Society Working Group on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) issued a document calling on summit participants to develop UHC policies focused on treating NCDs and involve different sectors of civil society in drawing up strategies able to guarantee primary health care for citizens.
The World Health Organization also released a report on September 4 urging countries to invest in food health and nutrition, with the goal of “saving 3.7 million lives by 2025.” The document states that investment in nutrition efforts will help countries move toward the goal of achieving Universal Health Coverage and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.