The Ministry of Health (MOH), Ghana Health Service (GHS) and other stakeholders today, mark the World Health Day, 2018 on the general theme: “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere” and the slogan is “Health for All”.
In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of MoH, Mr Robert Cudjoe, this year’s World Health Day aims at shining a spotlight on the need for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the advantages it can bring.
According to him, Ghana joins the rest of the World in commemorating the day; a very important day for the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it is the anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation.
The statement indicated that WHO was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realise their right to the highest possible level of health.
“Health for all has therefore been the guiding vision for more than seven decades. It’s also the motivation behind the current organisation-wide drive to support countries in moving towards UHC,” the statement read.
According to the statement, in WHO’s 70th year, World Health Day focused on “Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere” ― ensuring that everyone, everywhere could access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.
It explained that Health for All was to promote UHC by 2030 with the aim of supporting policy-makers, civil society organisations, individuals and media in the journey to bring UHC to every country.
“It is something all countries committed to when they agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015,” the statement said.
The UHC would enable everyone to receive the services that addressed the most important causes of diseases and death and ensured that the quality of those services was good enough to improve the health of the people who received them.
“UHC is not only about a minimum, “essential”, package of health services, but also about ensuring people receive better health services and financial protection as more resources become available.
“UHC is not only about health services for individuals, but also includes services for whole populations such as public health campaigns –for example, adding iodine to salt to get iodated salt to address problems of goitre and other iodine deficiency diseases,” the statement said.
The statement noted that over the past few years there has been some improvement in access to health care in Ghana, although there were still many challenges to the achievement of UHC.
It, therefore, recommended that, for Ghana to move towards UHC, the country needed to find more money thus strengthening the financing and coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to expand access to health care services and to raise the quality of care.
“These would include; addressing the inequitable distribution of human resources and equipment and improving the management and administrative capacity of the NHIS.