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Universal Health Coverage Day - Commonwealth Secretariat

Last Tuesday, 12th December marked Universal Health Coverage Day; an annual event recognised globally that aims to raise awareness about the need to promote health equality by providing the basic level of health care for all people. The day brought together advocates, social justice activists and health organisations across the globe to build a dialogue on what steps can be taken to reduce the increasing disparities in relation to access to health services across and within nations and achieve #HealthForAll. The World Health Organisation defines Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as:

"the means that all people receive the quality, essential health services they need, without being exposed to financial hardship" - World Health Organisation

Collage 1 - (left to right) Opening remarks from Dr. Mbololwa Lewanika-Mbuksita • Commonwealth Secretariat Banner • Information packs from Save the Children • Delicious lavender and passionfruit desserts!

As a budding future Global Health leader, I spent the day at the Commonwealth Secretariat Universal Health Coverage Day event, held at the Royal Overseas League, London which hosted a panel of various guests who all spoke about their various contributions to achieving UHC. The event opened up with a warm welcome and opening remarks from Dr. Mbololwa Lewanika-Mbiksita who explained the importance of achieving #HealthForAll and its cross sectoral contributions to other areas i.e. Economics. Following on from that, Dr Allison Beattie discussed how Political Economy intertwines with UHC and the funding mechanisms in the Commonwealth. Next, we had Ms Giorgina Rose, Senior Health Policy Adviser speak upon Maternal and Child Health in the Sustainable Development Goals Era. A particular point that stood out to me during her segment was:

"there is a social contract between state and citizen therefore access to health should be a minimum requirement" - Ms Giorgina Rose

When you think about the service a state should give to its citizens as a 'social contract', it raises the importance of state accountability. More governments need to be held accountable for their actions and outcomes of their planned progress targets to assess whether what they have planned has mirrored on the ground.

Collage 2 - (left to right) Candid shot of me! • Running order of the day • Talk session on Maternal and Child Health in the Sustainable Development Goals era delievered by Ms Giorgiana Rosa, Senior Health Policy and Advocacy Adviser at Save the Children  Beautiful Christmas tree in the foyer

Finally, we had Nnewuihe Obinna from the Commonwealth Youth Health Network discuss on IT, smartphones and innovative marketing in Health and raised the importance of getting young people involved with technology and health through a variety of social media platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, etc. 

I personally believe that UHC is important because everyone should be guaranteed the right to access good quality health care and services regardless of financial status. Health is a human right which is mirrored by the Alma-Ata Declaration. You should care about this because for many people, their lives depend solely on health coverage and without it, death is inevitable. UHC provides not only benefits health but also stimulates economic growth and leads to better political action by building peace and security. 

Get Involved in the #UHCDay #HealthForAll Coversation... 


  1. UHC is so important for the sustainability of human life, we must work to ensure the 2030 goal is achieved.

    1. Thanks for your comment - yes, I definitely agree! Without UHC, the prospect of attaining the SDGs will be very unlikely.


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