fbpx

International Universal Health Coverage Day commemorated

BY: Augustina Tawiah
Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori (left), Chief Executive Officer, National Blood Service, interacting with  Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari (2nd from right), Chief Director, Ministry of Health; Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye (right), Director-General, Ghana Health Service, and Dr Linda Vanotoo (2nd from left), Country Director, USAID/ Accelerator, at the event in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Dr Shirley Owusu-Ofori (left), Chief Executive Officer, National Blood Service, interacting with Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari (2nd from right), Chief Director, Ministry of Health; Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye (right), Director-General, Ghana Health Service, and Dr Linda Vanotoo (2nd from left), Country Director, USAID/ Accelerator, at the event in Accra. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The nation yesterday joined the international community to commemorate this year’s International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, with a call on stakeholders to offer more support to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure effective health delivery services across the country.

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who made the call, said his outfit was committed to breaking barriers in the delivery of quality and client-centred health care to all.

“We are poised to achieving UHC for all citizens through the implementation of a roadmap (2020 - 2023).

“Though this might appear ambitious, it remains our top priority in ensuring quality health for the people,” he added.

This was contained in a speech read on behalf of the minister by the Chief Director of the MoH, Kwabena Boadu Oku-Afari.

The UN proclaimed December 12, every year as the UHC Day.

Significance

The day seeks to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners.

The theme for this year’s celebration was “Build the world we want: A healthy future for all.”

It also aims at eliminating physical and financial barriers to accessing primary healthcare services and targeting the poor and vulnerable, including women and adolescents.

The minister said in line with the UHC roadmap, the ministry was making a deliberate effort to expand access to health infrastructure through initiatives such as the Agenda 111 Hospital project, strengthening of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), provision of financial cover, scaling up of quality improvement strategies across the health system and strengthening multi-sectoral governance on health by working closely with all partners.

COVID-19 disruptions

The Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the MoH, Dr Emmanuel Ankrah Odame, said the latest global monitoring report showed that most countries were off track the UHC roadmap due to COVID-19 and related disruptions.

For her part, a health advisor to the UK government, who represented health development partners, Uzoamaka Gilpin, said the enabling environment in the country could help the government achieve the UHC.

“In terms of policies, you have the NHIS that is doing far better than any that has been seen in Africa apart from South Africa; you have the medium-term sector development plan and most importantly, you have the road map to UHC which portrays the need for an inclusive health system and also ensures that the most vulnerable are met at the point of their need,” she said.