On Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day), the World Health Organization (WHO) teams up with international football icons to urge action by governments and people across the world to achieve health for all. UHC ensures that everyone, everywhere can access the support they need to be and stay healthy without being driven into financial hardship.
To mark UHC Day, WHO is launching two new tools: one to help governments design and deliver the right service coverage packages for their populations; and a second to provide people with reliable information to support the everyday decisions they make to protect their health and well-being.
“The World Cup is the greatest prize in football, and the greatest prize in life is good health and well-being,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Health is not a luxury for the rich, but a fundamental human right, and the foundation of peaceful, prosperous and sustainable economies and societies. The tools we are launching today will help governments and individuals to realise that right.”
UHC Day 2022 comes at a critical time when countries across the world are rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while facing many other crises such as economic and energy constraints, climate change and conflict.
UHC Day kicks off the countdown to the high-level meeting on UHC which will be held at the United Nations General Assembly in 2023. Heads of State and Government, at the first high-level meeting on UHC in 2019, affirmed that health is a precondition for and an outcome and indicator of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They strongly recommitted to achieve UHC by 2030 by scaling up the global effort to build a healthier world for all. The 2023 meeting is an opportunity to take stock of progress and galvanize political support and global action towards achieving UHC targets.
UHC Day at the FIFA World Cup
On the eve of the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup 2022™, WHO and its Goodwill Ambassador for Sport and Health, football legend Didier Drogba, led UHC Day celebrations in Doha, Qatar. This formed part of a full day of activities organized by the Education Above All Foundation to put a spotlight on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-being.
“I found myself in the unusual place where if I had problems on the field, help arrived quickly, and we’ve seen how vital that support can be lately. But off the field, we know, this isn’t always the case,” Didier Drogba said. “Ill-equipped clinics, unsupported health workers, and not enough medicines and vaccines put people’s well-being at risk around the world. Good health needs a team effort, so we need governments to commit to policies that support Universal Health Coverage and give everyone access to what it takes to be healthy. When we team up for health for all, we all win.”
Football enthusiasts of all ages moved to show their support for health for all as electronic dance artist and vocalist, The Mad Stuntman, performed his famous song, “I Like to Move It,” highlighting the importance of staying active and the role of sport in promoting good health and well-being.
Sherrie Silver, Rwandan-British MTV Award winning choreographer, advocate for the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations, Malaria No More Ambassador and Rwandan development advocate also led the crowd in a dance-off, called the World Cup Workout.
“On Universal Health Coverage Day, let’s all be active and play our part to make health for all our goal, said Alisson Becker, goalkeeper for Brazil and Liverpool, and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Health Promotion.
A new WHO tool to help countries deliver UHC
Achieving national health goals has been hampered by the lack of a structured approach in designing and delivering a comprehensive package of health services that are tailored to local contexts.
WHO is launching a new tool named the Universal Health Coverage Service Package Delivery and Implementation or UHC SPDI Tool to support countries in designing their unique UHC health service packages. This innovative and practical online tool includes functionalities that will allow national health planners to select from a comprehensive range of health services—spanning promotive, preventive, resuscitative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative services—that people need to reach the highest attainable standard of health and well-being.
The tool is also designed to help identify human resource needs, essential medical products, infrastructure and other elements required for the effective delivery of health services. It also emphasizes first contact primary and emergency care, and highlights a primary health care approach as the basis for strengthening health systems and bringing all sectors under the vision of achieving health for all. The successful implementation of a national health service package will ultimately equip countries to accelerate progress towards UHC.
Universal health information for “Health for All”
WHO also launched a digital resource for the public called, “Your life, your health: Tips and information for health and well-being.” It provides people across different life phases with trustworthy health information that they can easily access, understand and use in daily life.