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27 August 12:00 AM

WHO marks its 70 anniversary with call for reviving Universal Health Coverage

The World Health Organization (WHO) urged world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance the health of all people. This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.

On the World Health Day on Saturday, the WHO said it will maintain a high-profile focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) via a series of events through 2018, starting on World Health Day on 7 April with global and local conversations about ways to achieve health for all.

The World Health Organization was founded on the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health.

“Health for all” has therefore been our guiding vision for more than seven decades. It’s also the impetus behind the current organization-wide drive to support countries in moving towards UHC.

On April 7, 2018, the World Health Organization marks its 70th anniversary. Over the past 7 decades, the WHO has spearheaded efforts to rid the world of killer diseases like smallpox and to fight against deadly habits like tobacco use.

This year, World Health Day is dedicated to one of the WHO’s founding principles: “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

“Good health is the most precious thing anyone can have,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “ When people are healthy, they can learn, work, and support themselves and their families. When they are sick, nothing else matters. Families and communities fall behind. That’s why WHO is so committed to ensuring good health for all.”

With 194 Member States, across six regions, and working from more than 150 offices, WHO staff are united in a shared drive to achieve better health for everyone, everywhere – and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring “healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”.

The tagline for this year’s World Health Day is “Universal Health Coverage: everyone, everywhere”. WHO offices worldwide are organizing events to mark the day, with Dr Tedros joining celebrations in Sri Lanka. 

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