Commitment To UHC Vital To Preventing Childhood Pneumonia, Ensuring No Child Left Behind

The Telegraph: Fighting for breath: how we can win the battle against childhood pneumonia
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, and Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children U.K.

“…[T]he most potent antidote to the ongoing crisis in child pneumonia can be summarized in three words: universal health coverage (UHC). Too many cases of pneumonia go untreated or are misdiagnosed because health systems do not provide access to effective and affordable care. … Later this year, the United Nations will convene a meeting of world leaders aimed at galvanizing action to drive progress on UHC. Increased public spending on health, and more efficient use of resources, are critical. … No country is too poor to embrace a commitment to universal health coverage, but the poorest countries will need support from aid donors to achieve it. The bad news is that development assistance for health is stagnating. When governments adopted the Sustainable Development Goals three years ago they pledged that by 2030, no child would die from a preventable disease, and that none would be left behind in pursuit of that goal because they were born poor. The battle against childhood pneumonia is a test of our collective intent to honor that pledge. This is a battle that we are losing. But with universal health coverage it is a battle we can — and must — win. The world’s most deprived children have a right to nothing less” (8/1).