Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Importance Of Public Health, Financial Management, Reaching UHC

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: An enduring reminder of the importance of public health
Editorial Board

“…Without proactive measures in place, however thoroughly the international community prepares for pandemics, the response will inevitably be reactive and, hence, prone to delays that will result in some degree of morbidity and mortality that could have been prevented, as seen in [2017’s plague outbreak in] Madagascar. These proactive measures are, to most, neither novel nor revolutionary, they are tried and tested public health and [universal health coverage (UHC)]. For nations that feel complacent about the distant nature of many of these outbreaks it is well worth remembering that 2018 will mark another infectious diseases milestone, one that was not limited to distant shores: the 1918 influenza pandemic” (January 2018).

HuffPost: Who’s To Blame For Global Health Inequity? — The Elephant In The UHC Room
Martin Drewry, director of Health Poverty Action and Find Your Feet

“…[W]e need to transform those aspects of the global neoliberal system that enable rich countries to continue to exploit poor countries. Returning to the particular context of health and the goal of UHC …, this means that we need to create an ‘NHS for the World.’ [Britain’s National Health Service (NHS)] was founded on the same principles as UHC: health care, available for all, tax funded and free at the point of delivery. Moreover, it was introduced at a time when the U.K. was facing desperate financial constraints. So we know that it’s possible, and we know how to do it. Now that knowledge needs to provide the basis for our partnerships with other countries … That means ditching the failed model of privatization which only benefits the rich and powerful, and instead pursuing policies that we know can deliver health for all” (12/27).

Project Syndicate: Resuscitating Africa’s Health Care
Samuel Kargbo, director of policy and planning at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, a member of the UHC 2030 Steering Committee, and a 2015 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow

“…There is widespread agreement among governments, development partners, and relief agencies that in a crisis like that caused by Ebola — or any other health emergency, for that matter — strong financial management is critical. … Anger was my first emotion upon learning of the [International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)] funding fraud. But it is the second sentiment — disappointment — that must drive Africa forward. If the continent is to make gains in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and improving the quality of health care for everyone, it must start by ensuring that resources are used efficiently and fairly. … As the world observed Universal Health Coverage Day in December, I was left to reflect on the horrors of the last few years, and consider what steps we must take to improve health care in the future. In Sierra Leone, as elsewhere, the focus must be on strong leadership, governance, and partnerships. But most of all, we must use our collective dissatisfaction with past failures to fuel efforts to make quality health care a reality for everyone” (1/3).

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