The Millennium Development Goals, due to expire next year, have defined an era of global health. Since their adoption in 2000, the global AIDS response has scaled up massively; childhood immunization has become the norm in most settings; and many more women can access the family planning and reproductive healthcare they need. The MDGs coincided with, and perhaps helped to usher, a “Golden Age” of global health funding, which supported hard work and innovation that saved millions of lives. And yet, signals emerged that the rapid scaleup was leaving people behind.
Author Archives: UHC Forward
(Crossposted from Women Deliver) By: Dr. Jeanette Vega, Managing Director for Health, Rockefeller Foundation In just over a year since the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), we have seen incredible momentum around the topic. UHC is fast becoming one of the most important and relevant issues in the global health sector, setting the stage for UHC’s prioritization in the post-2015 development agenda. Now, global health leaders Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Jay, and Ana Langer have authored a new essay in PLoS Medicine that highlights the importance of Improving Women’s Health through Universal Health Coverage.read more
Subtitle: By Gorik Ooms About a year ago, at the AIDS 2012 conference in Washington DC, I wondered why the theme universal health coverage was virtually absent from the conference. It looked as if UNAIDS’ universal test-and-treat strategy and WHO’s universal health coverage plan were designed for two different worlds, as I argued in a blog post then. Such a division of global health advocates was bad news for global health, in my opinion, especially in light of the coming MDG negotiations. We should not count on three or more health-focused MDGs this time. But I also understood why the AIDS activists at the conference were wary about supporting universal health coverage.read more
Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the 2013 World Health Report on research for universal health coverage. The report calls on countries to invest in local research to develop universal health coverage system tailored to each individual situation. Below is a speech given by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, at the launch of the World Health Report 2013 in Beijing, China on August 15, 2013.read more
Kunle’s story touched me deeply. I walked into a pediatric unit of a teaching hospital in Nigeria a few years ago to review a patient. On the first bed was a lifeless child. He was brought in dead, a few minutes earlier by his parents.
It is no secret that the escalating cost of healthcare is becoming a threat to the economies of most-developed nations. In the United States, for example, healthcare absorbs almost eighteen percent of the gross domestic product – 2.8 trillion dollars – and reaches deep into the pockets of middle and low income families. A clamorous, polarizing debate has erupted in the US over the future of care: What can we cut? What should be covered? Who should pay
Universal health coverage (UHC) is raised and discussed all over. At any global health event, Ministry of Health speeches and in the title of articles, reports and research. The concept is moving the public health agenda just as HIV/Aids did a decade ago. However, this momentum does not mean everybody has the same understanding of UHC, specially at community or CSO level where people are used to working and thinking according to diseases and with health policies often defined without their input. This is the primary reason that the Ghana Universal Access to Healthcare campaign is putting together some examples and explanations to help African constituencies better understand the concept and be better skilled to take part in the global and national discussions around UHC’s implementation and the post 2015 framework.read more
All African health economists, health policy analysts or those working in Africa or on research of relevance to Africa are invited to submit abstracts for the Third Conference of the African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA). The conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from March 11-13, 2014. Researchers and other actors are encouraged to submit abstracts on the post-2015 African health agenda, universal health coverage, or on any other interesting, innovative or topical African health sector or systems research. Proposals for organized sessions are also welcome from interested individuals or institutions. Please see the full call for abstracts for more information
Subtitle: This blog is co-authored by Gina Lagomarsino, Managing Director for Results for Development, and Simon Wright, Head of Child Survival for Save the Children UK This week in Geneva, the global community has gathered for the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly. As we recently passed the 1000 day count down to the end of the current Millennium Development goals. The post-MDG framework is at the forefront of this year’s Assembly. Over the past three years, UHC has been gaining traction as an overarching framework for the post-2015 development agenda. In 2010, The World Health Organization (WHO) published the World Health Report on Health Financing.
In November 2012, the Philippines Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) issued a press release about its “crucial” collaboration with the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) to develop a national health data dictionary. According to Dr. Alvin B. Marcelo, PhilHealth Chief Information and Technology Executive, “without a data dictionary, confusion and misinterpretations are common.” With the openHDD, PhilHealth can create new strategies “to improve universal health coverage.” PhilHealth’s adoption of openHDD is an international partnership embraced at the highest level of the PhilHealth Corporation.read more
Universal Health Coverage, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is “access to key promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health interventions for all at an affordable cost, thereby achieving equity.” In May 2012, AIM-ZCABT and the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO WPRO) released this documentary film on universal health coverage that tackles the complex issues surrounding people’s access to Universal Health Care with emphasis on the situation of Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines.
Subtitle: Heartfile launches a new e-Forum Heartfile recently launched a new e-Forum, which provides a discussion platform to the global health and development community through news updates, commentaries and resources relating to global and national health policies. Check out Heartfile’s most recent blog post by Professor Wim Van Damme, senior lecturer in Public Health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium on universal health coverage: *Last week the UN General Assembly passed a resolution on Universal Health Coverage, apparently with broad support from the Global South and North. That is no coincidence. In my opinion, UHC’s unique selling proposition is its obvious appeal to middle-income countries, BRICs and other emerging powers. Countries like Indonesia, Brazil, China, India, South-Africa, Mexico, Thailand, … are among the biggest advocates of UHC and for good reason.read more
Subtitle: The vital role of the essential package for health impact Eugénie, a widow in Rwanda, farms to provide for her children. In January 2012, she had surgery to remove a tumor, a procedure that would have devastated her family economically if she did not have insurance. Rwanda’s health insurance program is the most successful of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa: it supports the health of more than 90 percent of the population, including the most vulnerable, like Eugénie. Rwanda is one of over 100 countries — over half of which are low- and middle-income countries — that have taken steps to provide universal health coverage (UHC).
As member of the Spanish All Party Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, I recently had the chance to participate in a parliamentarian field trip, supported by Action for Global Health, to a very special country: the Philippines. It is not only special for being a very populated state formed by 7,107 islands but for being at a crucial moment in the path towards being able to guarantee the right to health to its entire population. This is a big challenge because of two main difficulties: Poverty increases: although the Philippines has become a middle-income country recently, the percentage of poor people increases every year ( 26.5 percent of the population are classed as poor) and The country is overpopulated, with more than 95 million people. read more