Rallying for UHC (V): Rounding-Up UN General Assembly Week

Rallying for UHC (V): Rounding-Up UN General Assembly Week

{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). Signatory organizations include: One Million Community Health Workers Campaign; Abt Associates; American College of Nurse-Midwives; COSADER (NGO Action Group for Food Security and Rural Development); Ghana Universal Access to Healthcare Campaign Coalition; Heartfile; International Federation of Medical Students' Associations; International Youth Council-Nigeria/Anambra State Sub-Chapter; Leonard Cheshire Disability; Management Sciences for Health; Médecins du Monde/Doctors of the World-International Network; Oxfam; Oxfam India; Population Services International; Save the Children.

Read the Joint Letter to UN Member States: UHC and the Post-2015 Agenda

A Healthy Future for All

[Dr. Jonathan D. Quick moderating a panel.] {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH.}Dr. Jonathan D. Quick moderating a panel.Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH.

As the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) kicked 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, called "A Healthy Future For All: Making Universal Health Coverage a Post-2015 Priority". Jeffrey Sachs, economist and director of Columbia University's Earth Institute delivered the keynote.   

"We believe everyone should have the opportunity for a healthy life. UHC is fundamental to achieving that right," said MSH President and CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick. "The devil is in the design and implementation—governance, access to medicines, costing will all be essential for UHC. If we do not address the poorest first, they get left behind."

Watch "A Healthy Future for All"

Dr. Quick also spoke at the "Road Forward: What's Next for Global Health?" discussion with global health leaders on the future of health, co-sponsored by the Global Health Council (GHC), Action for Global Health, and Global Health South

"Rallying for UHC"

In a multi-part series, MSH bloggers expanded on themes raised during UNGA week and considered the road ahead for UHC in post-2015 discussions.

[MSH's Abiodun Awosusi in Lagos, Nigeria.]MSH's Abiodun Awosusi in Lagos, Nigeria.

The role of frontline health workers is an essential part of achieving UHC (see Twitter with hashtag " href="https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23healthworkerscount">). 

"I strongly believe community health workers have a key role to play to accelerate progress toward UHC in the sub-Saharan Africa region," said MSH's Dr. Abiodun Awosusi of Nigeria in a post that originally appeared on The Lancet Global Health blog.

MSH's Zina Jarrah presented the newly-developed integrated community case management (iCCM) costing and financing tool at an invitation-only event about health workers, hosted by Johnson & Johnson. The tool helps users calculate the costs and financing elements of a vertical iCCM program, including service delivery by community health workers, training, supervision, and management from community to central levels.

Aligning with Civil Society Priorities

[Jeffrey Sachs.] {Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH}Jeffrey Sachs.Photo credit: Paula Champagne/MSH

"For civil society advocates, the feeling around UHC is still far from unanimous," blogs Jonathan Jay, JD, MA, describing a few "sticking points" observed among civil society organizations

In a second post, Jay explains why some disease-specific advocacy groups have been slow to embrace the UHC post-2015 agenda, and how the UHC movement can address their concerns. "Contrary to fears, global health advocates really can rally around UHC... their main doubt is whether, in practice, essential priorities might be left out."

Moving forward

We hope to continue the UHC and post-2015 agenda conversation with all of you. Add your voice to the conversation in the comments below, on our Facebook page, and on " href="https://twitter.com/MSHHealthImpact">Twitter with " href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23UHCPost2015&src=hash">. And please share these stories from the emerging global movement with your colleagues and networks.

Working together toward a healthy future for all!