Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

 {Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH}Josephine Mbiyu of the USAID-funded LMS project discusses the localization of leadership for strengthening health systems in MSH Kenya projects.Photo credit: Yvonne Otieno/MSH

Effective leaders and institutions are the foundations of strong health institutions.

~ Dr. Daraus Bukenya, MSH country representative of Kenya

The Management Sciences for Health Kenya country office hosted a panel discussion on leadership at the Devex Partnerships Forum held in Nairobi. This was a unique opportunity for the over 120 participants who attended the session to discuss practical examples of how leadership translates to better health outcomes within and beyond the panel session. The right to health, efficiency in delivery of services, leadership training, and informed decision-making emerged as key themes during the panel discussion. Some of the key questions raised during the session included:

{Photo by Warren Zelman.}Photo by Warren Zelman.

This post also appeared on Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists Blog and on Frontline Health Workers Coalition's website.

In a week and a half, as a team of our colleagues arrive in Ethiopia for this year’s International Conference on Family Planning, others will already be in Brazil for the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. This year’s HRH Forum addresses universal health coverage (UHC), a concept which continues to gain momentum as the focus of global health efforts from institutions like the World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO).

It’s symbolic that these two meetings are happening half a world apart: as movements around family planning, health workforce and UHC have advanced, there has been too little dialogue and collaboration across these communities.

{Photo credit: Rui Pires}Photo credit: Rui Pires

A global movement toward universal health coverage (UHC) is emerging. Fifteen global civil society organizations signed a statement urging UN countries to include UHC in post-Millennium Development goals (MDGs).

Devex.com features a video interview with MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick at the Clinton Global Initiative. Eliza Villarino writes:

For some, universal health coverage is a remote vision. The idea, according to Management Sciences for Health President and CEO Jonathan Quick, is actually not that far-fetched.

Universal health coverage refers to the commitment of countries to provide basic health, prevention and treatment services to all their citizens without financially burdening them. Today, 50 countries, including 20 lower-middlie-income countries offer such coverage, Quick noted in an exclusive interview with Devex on the sidelines of the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative annual gathering in New York.

"I think the biggest thing that’s happening right now that affects health systems is the movement toward universal health coverage," Quick said.

He also explained why investment in global health is one of the best ways to improve U.S. image abroad and security at home. How?

 {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH}Jeffrey Sachs speaking at "A Healthy Future for All: Making UHC a Post-2015 Priority".Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH

After last Monday’s event launching a report on equity in universal health coverage (UHC), I observed that the global UHC movement can gain broader support by refining its messages to connect with the core values of civil society and provide reassurance that UHC is feasible for low-income countries. It was clear after last Tuesday’s event in New York—hosted by MSH, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Thai UN mission—that to gain support among disease-specific advocates in post-2015 discussions, the UHC movement must also clarify how a UHC goal would relate to disease-specific priorities in the new development framework.

Put another way: what exactly would UHC cover as a post-2015 goal?

 {Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Emanuel Bizimungu, a community health worker in eastern Rwanda, examines a girl.Photo credit: Todd Shapera

As the United Nations General Assembly kicks off general debate on the post-2015 development agenda this week, advocates of a universal health coverage (UHC) target are rallying other organizations to build and showcase support around UHC. These efforts include high-profile events on Monday and Tuesday, both hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation with partner support. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson hosted an event on the key role of frontline health workers to efforts like these. This post, which originally appeared on The Lancet Global Health Blog, is part of a "Rallying for UHC" series: MSH bloggers expanding on the themes raised by these events and considering the road ahead for UHC in post-2015 discussions. Readers can participate by adding comments on the blog posts, or joining the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag.  

 {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH}MSH President Dr. Jonathan D. Quick moderates the panel.Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH

As the United Nations General Assembly kicks off general debate on the post-2015 development agenda, MSH, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations hosted a standing-room only event rallying organizations around making universal health coverage (UHC) a post-2015 priority. "A Healthy Future For All: Making Universal Health Coverage a Post-2015 Priority" was one of two high-profile events hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation with partner support. Watch the webcast recording and view the photo slideshow of "A Healthy Future for All".

{Photo credit: Pan American Health Organization}Photo credit: Pan American Health Organization

As the United Nations General Assembly kicks off general debate on the post-2015 development agenda this week, advocates of a universal health coverage (UHC) target are rallying other organizations to build and showcase support around UHC. These efforts include high-profile events on Monday and Tuesday, both hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation with partner support. On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson hosts an event on the key role of frontline health workers to efforts like these. 

In a three-part series, MSH bloggers expand on the themes raised by these events and consider the road ahead for UHC in post-2015 discussions. Readers can participate through their organizations—which can sign on to a joint letter to UN Member States supporting a post-2015 UHC target—or as individuals: by urging their organizations to sign the joint letter, adding comments on this blog post, or on Twitter with the hashtag.  

{Photo credit: Todd Shapera}Photo credit: Todd Shapera

Representatives from MSH are participating in events related to global health and the post-2015 development agenda during U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) week in New York City. Follow updates from UNGA week, viewed through the lens of MSH's advocacy for universal health coverage (UHC) as a post-2015 development priority. 

 

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman}Photo credit: Warren Zelman

This post originally appeared as part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and the NGO alliance InterAction around the United Nations General Assembly's 68th session and its general debate on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  

Thirty years ago, I was a young physician practicing family medicine in rural Talihina, Oklahoma. We saw unusual cases, including snakebites and a man who survived a gunshot through the heart. But what I loved most was delivering babies – bringing new lives into the world and great joy to parents. Sadly, my most vivid memory from those years is of a baby girl who didn’t make it. Her parents, first-time pregnant, didn’t recognize the warning signs. When they reached the hospital, our team was too slow.  Too late.

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