Community Development Health

Call for equality for all on Universal Health Day

By Nhau Mangirazi

Zimbabweans have been challenged to make equality for all to access better health care as the country joined the world in making Universal Health Day celebrated on 12 December annually.

Tariro Kutadza, a TB Champion and gender advocate said Zimbabweans must strive for better healthcare services. She said a healthy generation makes a healthy world.

“As the world continues to face overlapping humanitarian and environmental emergencies caused by poverty and hunger, the looming threat of pandemics, climate change, and vast inequalities within and between countries, we call upon governments all over to make sure that health issues are aligned with the constitution that gives priority on a healthy budget for its citizens. The day also provides opportunities to build the better world we want: A healthy future for all, ” she said.

Kutadza added that quality health service and care are not reserved for the haves and have not but for all.

“Universal health coverage lifts people out of poverty, promotes the well-being of families and communities, protects against public health crisis, and moves us towards health for all,” she said.

This year’s theme is “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all,”

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), universal health coverage (UHC) lifts people out of poverty, promotes the well-being of families and communities, protects against public health crises, and moves us toward health for all. This year’s theme, “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all,” emphasizes that in order to build strong health systems, we need equity, trust, healthy environments, investments, and accountability.

“UHC Day is an opportunity to celebrate progress and raise awareness for what is required to deliver essential health care for families and communities everywhere,” the WHO statement reads.

This year’s Universal Health Coverage Day marks the kick-off of WHO’s 75th anniversary of making health for all a reality and the countdown to the high-level meeting on UHC taking place at the UN General Assembly in 2023.

In the past two decades, the UHC service coverage index in the Western Pacific Region, which marks progress in increasing access to essential health services, has increased from 49 in 2000 to 80 in 2019. However, inequities in service coverage and financial hardship exist in many countries, especially among vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

“As we have over the past 75 years, WHO stands with all people, communities, and organizations across the world in taking action to “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all”. The Campaign objectives include acknowledging and celebrating progress moving towards UHC in the Region (and world); raising awareness for the need to increase investment from governments to build a sustainable and resilient health system that can deliver high-quality, affordable, people-centred lifelong participatory primary health care for all; and emphasizing the time is now to re-prioritize UHC and for health systems to work, they need to work for everyone.”

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Byron Adonis Mutingwende