World Health Day 2019 – what is it about and what is the theme this year?

TODAY is the 71st anniversary of World Health Day, and this year the World Health Organisation’s theme is Universal Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.

WHO is working towards a future where everyone can access the healthcare they need and steps are being taken to ensure this is the future. Here’s the lowdown.

Universal Health Coverage will ensure nobody end up broke because they had to pay medical expenses

What is World Health Day all about?

World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organisation.

The First World Assembly was held by the WHO in 1948.

Today – Sunday, April 7 – is the WHO’s 71st anniversary.

What are the WHO’s principles?

The World Health Organisation was founded on the principle that everyone in the world should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health.

“Health for all” has therefore been the organisation’s guiding vision for more than seven decades.

It’s also the impetus behind the current organisation-wide drive to support countries in moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The WHO has called on world leaders to commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people.

This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.

The WHO will maintain a high-profile focus on UHC though a series of events throughout 2019, starting today.

It’s main focus will be global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all.

Why this year’s theme of Universal Health Coverage so important?

The theme of this year’s World Health Day is “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere”.

Universal health coverage means everyone has access to vital health services and covers the full spectrum of essential services – disease prevention, good health promotion, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation.

The purpose of UHC is to ensure people are protected from being pushed into poverty due to the cost of healthcare.

Universal health coverage has become a major goal for health reform in many countries and is a priority objective of the WHO.

According to the WHO, healthcare services are severely lacking in at least half the world.

Healthcare costs have plunged more than 100 million people globally into a life of poverty, where they live on less than $1.90 a day.

More than 800 million people – around 12 per cent of the world’s population – spends at least 10 per cent of their household budget to pay for healthcare.

The organisation aims to extend health coverage to more than one billion people by 2023.

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