Call for equitable health access


HEALTH experts have called for equitable health access for marginalised groups such as rural people, women and children.

This comes as the world yesterday commemorated the International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, which falls on December 12 annually.

Community Working Group on Health executive director Itai Rusike said a country’s health system should work for everyone regardless of their financial status.

“Equitable health coverage puts women, children, adolescents, and the most vulnerable first because they face the most significant barriers to essential care. We all deserve a health system we know will be there for us throughout our lifespan. Trusted health systems provide high-quality services in primary care clinics and hospitals, equip and support frontline community health workers, and offer transparent health,” Rusike said.

He said Zimbabwe was affected by a decline in standards at the country’s major referral hospital, as well as the brain-drain in key personnel.

“UHC goes hand-in-hand with empowering communities to build healthy environments that promote holistic physical, mental and social well-being. Investing in #HealthForAll is the backbone of a prosperous society. Increasing public financing for health and reducing out-of-pocket health costs save lives, build resilience against pandemic threats, and advances Sustainable Development Goals beyond health.

World Health Organisation (WHO) director AMR Global Co-ordination Haileyesus Getahun said challenges threatening a “healthy future for all” could not be addressed by the healthcare sector alone, but by a united and collaborative multi-sectoral response to ensure health security for everyone.

“The one health approach is an integrated, unifying approach that aims to sustainably balance and optimise the health of people, animals, and ecosystems. It recognises that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants, and the wider environment (including ecosystems) are closely linked and interdependent,” Getahun said.

In August this year, WHO expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s slow pace in improving UHC, which is part of an initiative to ensure everyone has access to proper health services.

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