African Nations Must Strengthen Steps To Implement Universal Health Coverage

Project Syndicate: Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Africa
Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for Africa at the WHO

“…[S]trong health care systems are critical not only in times of crisis. They are also needed to provide children with life-saving immunizations; to provide women with reproductive care, including contraception; and to provide all people with preventive services and treatments to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. When people are healthy, everyone benefits. … Countries across Africa are already taking steps to advance [Universal Health Coverage (UHC)]. … Yet much more work needs to be done to ensure that all people in all countries across Africa — and, indeed, across the developing world — have access to the health care they need. … Indeed, the [WHO] Windhoek meeting — which coincides with the third UHC Day on 12 December — offers an unprecedented opportunity for countries to define the critical measures needed, and make concrete commitments to strengthen integrated, people-centered services rooted in primary health care. … Achieving UHC is not just a moral imperative; it’s also an economic one. The time has come to fulfill it” (12/12).