African health ministers attending the recent 67th Session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe adopted measures to strengthen national health systems focusing to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. It enables everyone to access the services that address the most important causes of disease and death, and ensures that these services are of sufficient quality to be effective.
UHC is the eighth target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) that was adopted in September 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly to guide global development by 2030. To achieve UHC, WHO advises Member States to build strong and resilient health systems that can ensure public health security, can deal with effects of climate change and are capable of ending deadly epidemics such as Ebola.
UHC requires good health stewardship, adequate financing, qualified and motivated health workforce, access to quality medicines and health products, functional health information systems and people-centered service delivery systems.
The ministers agreed to implement the six comprehensive framework actions in their countries that will contribute fundamentally to attainment of UHC. They include improving availability of essential services needed to sustain health for all people and to increase their coverage so that all people can easily access them.
The ministers agreed to make renewed efforts to protect people from catastrophic health expenditures caused by use of health services. In addition, they will focus on promoting client satisfaction and effective health security