Global Health Impact: Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage
Global Health Impact: Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage
The most recent edition of the MSH Global Health Impact Newsletter (May 2014, Issue 5) highlights MSH and global efforts moving toward universal health coverage (UHC) in the post-2015 development framework. This issue includes: MSH President & CEO Dr. Jonathan D. Quick blogging on what it takes to achieve UHC; MSH's Jonathan Jay of the Health for All Post-2015 campaign blogging on the World Health Organization’s goal of UHC by 2030, announced at the 67th World Health Assembly in Geneva; how Rwanda is working toward universal coverage through health systems strengthening; MSH-supported advocacy efforts in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria, through the Health for All: Campaign for UHC in Africa (Health for All); an interview with MSH's Kwesi Eghan on the critical role of medicines benefits management in successful UHC programming; a video on what UHC means for family planning; and more stories from around the world.
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A Note from Dr. Jonathan Quick
Health is an integral part of our daily lives. Yet around the world—including in the US, where I live—health services can be uncertain, expensive, or unavailable.
To address these shortcomings, we at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) support universal health coverage (UHC), with the goal that all people should have access to the quality health services they need.
Related Reading: The Global View: Lessons For Mass. Health Care From Abroad (WBUR's CommonHealth Blog)
Last week at the 67th World Health Assembly, “the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a global goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030—specified by, among others, a target of at least 80 percent coverage with key health services,” MSH’s Jonathan Jay blogs. “Here’s the problem: WHO itself defines UHC as everyone receiving the good-quality services they need without financial hardship. How could just 80 percent suffice?”
In 1998, just four years after the genocide, the new Rwandan government launched an ambitious plan to move the nation from a state ravaged by war to a middle-income country by 2020. Central to this plan was health equality—equal access and equal quality of care for all Rwandans—not a simple goal for the most developed countries, let alone one emerging from conflict. Now, Rwanda is one of the few countries on track to meet or exceed all five health-related Millennium Development Goals.
Funded by The Rockefeller Foundation and led by MSH, the Health for All campaign advocates for universal health coverage in Africa and supports UHC initiatives by the governments of Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Kenya.
Health for All: Ethiopia
The Government of Ethiopia has committed to providing affordable health care services and achieving UHC through both Social Health Insurance and a new Community-Based Health Insurance schemes. To educate and promote awareness about these insurance schemes Health for All helped gather four Ethiopian celebrities to appear as featured contestants on a popular television game show.
Health for All: Kenya
Endorsed by the Government of Kenya and given a seat on the Technical Working Group developing the integrated strategy toward UHC, Health for All is bringing together partners and stakeholders and working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and National Health Insurance Agency. Health for All is also playing a crucial role in communication and popular mobilization.
Health for All: Nigeria
In Nigeria, Health for All is effectively collaborating with stakeholders to support the government move toward UHC, including co-hosting a media forum for journalists and a National Stakeholders Meeting.
Improving Medicines Benefit Management for Universal Health Coverage Programs: A Conversation with Kwesi Eghan
"Although implementing medicines benefits management is a challenging task, UHC programs must strike a difficult balance between equitable access and affordable expenditure at the household and system levels," says Kwesi Eghan, MSc, MBA, BPharm, Portfolio Manager for the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) Program in South Sudan and the Strengthening Pharmaceutical Systems (SPS) project in Afghanistan.
"Otherwise persons seeking health may not receive the needed care, and low income, most-in-need households may ending up paying high out-of-pocket expenses for catastrophic ailments."
Hosted by MSH and The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) during the 2013 International Conference on Family Planning, this panel discussion highlights how UHC can support family planning in the post-2015 development agenda. Moderated by Fabio Castaño (MSH), with speakers, Alison Marshall (IPPF) and Hiwot Emishaw (MSH/Health for All Campaign in Africa), November 13, 2013.
A Powerful Pair: Tobacco Taxes for Universal Health Coverage
"The World Health Organization is calling on countries to raise taxes on tobacco for World No Tobacco Day 2014," blog MSH's Jonathan Jay and Chelsey Canavan on Devex. Jay and Canavan call it a "win-win," "because, unlike most public health interventions, they don’t cost governments money—they bring it in." "Ratcheting up taxes would save lives."
Read more on Devex >>
Saving Children’s Lives in the Lake Zone of Tanzania through Improved Malaria Medicine Management
Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by University Research Co., LLC, with MSH and partners, the Tibu Homa (“treat fever” in Swahili) project is working with the Government of Tanzania to ensure that effective commodities and medicines for the diagnosis and treatment of malaria are available and health workers are trained in their use throughout the Lake Region.
MSH at the 67th World Health Assembly
At the 67th World Health Assembly (WHA67) in Geneva, we co-convened three side events focusing on the role of UHC, chronic diseases, and governance for health in the post-2015 framework, and sent six representatives as part of the 60-plus-person Global Health Council delegation. We also released a new mobile application on health governance.
Read more from WHA67 >>