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On World Health Day, WHO Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Universal Health Coverage Theme

World Health Day 2019 marks the marks the World Health Organization's 71st-anniversary. The WHO's theme for this year is ‘Universal Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’


Updated:April 7, 2019, 10:25 AM IST
On World Health Day, WHO Celebrates 70th Anniversary with Universal Health Coverage Theme
Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference at their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Image: Reuters)

World Health Day | Every year, the World Health Day is celebrated on April 7 as a global health awareness day under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization. The day celebrates the establishment of the WHO and this year it marks the end of the World Health Organization’s 70th-anniversary celebrations. The WHO was born on this day in 1948 with a clear and ambitious vision: a world in which all people enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.

Universal Health means that all people across the globe have access, without any kind of discrimination, to comprehensive quality services, wherever they need them, without facing financial difficulties. On Sunday, the WHO said, “Although we have made enormous progress in recent years against some of the world’s leading causes of death and disease, we still have a lot of work to do to realize that vision.”

“Today, half the world’s population cannot access essential health services. Millions of women give birth without help from a skilled attendant; millions of children miss out on vaccinations against killer diseases, and millions suffer and die because they can’t get treatment for HIV, TB, and malaria. In 2019, this is simply unacceptable,” the WHO said.

Although the right to good health is everybody’s prerogative, millions across the world do not have the access to the most basic healthcare. It is a fact that underprivileged people are forced to give up on their healthcare in order to meet their daily expenses such as food, clothing, and shelter. Thus, the WHO’s theme for World Health Day 2019 is ‘Universal Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere’ to ensure that no human being will ever have to make a choice between the two.

There are three key goals of the WHO’s Universal Coverage plan: ensuring everyone who needs healthcare service gets it, irrespective of their financial status; the quality of healthcare services should be good enough to improve health; people who seek healthcare services should be protected from financial risk. Good health shouldn’t come at the cost of financial harm.

The UHC is based on the 1948 WHO constitution that declared health a fundamental human right, and the Health for All agenda of the 1978 Alma Ata declaration.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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