The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the organisation is shining its spotlight on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to highlight the importance of achieving health for all globally.
WHO said this in a statement published on its website on Friday ahead of the global celebration of World Health Day yearly on April 9.
It said UHC remained the organisation’s number one goal.
The organisation said that although countries in all regions of the world were making progress towards achieving UHC, millions of people still had no access at all to health care.
It said that millions more were also still forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.
According to the organisation, 100 million people globally are being pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.
WHO said that it was time to achieve health for all because it was a human right.
“This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April.
“Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community.
“Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world but millions of people still have no access at all to health care.
“Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.
“Health is a human right, it is time for health for all. We know universal health coverage is possible, let’s make it happen.
“Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
“At least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need.
About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.
“Quality, accessible primary health care is the foundation for universal health coverage,” it noted.
The organisation maintained that unsafe and low-quality health care ruins lives and costs the world trillions of dollars every year.
WHO said that much more must therefore be done to improve the quality and safety of health services globally.
It advised countries to make primary health care the first level of contact with the health system.
WHO said that this would enable individuals, families and communities receive most of the health care they needed.
The organisation also urged health workers to play a crucial role in educating patients on how to take care of their health, coordinate care and advocate for their patients’ needs to health facility managers and policy-makers.
The theme for the 2019 celebration of World Health Day is “Universal Health Coverage,”. (NAN)