DUBAI: The World Health Organisation’s campaign for the 2019 World Health Day on April 7 is themed around ‘Universal Health Coverage’ to focus on better access to the care that people need when they need it.

According to WHO, at least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services. About 100 million people are still being pushed into extreme poverty (defined as living on $1.90 - Dh7- or less a day) because they have to pay for health care. Over 800 million people (almost 12 per cent of the world’s population) spent at least 10 per cent of their household budgets to pay for health care. All UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

This year’s campaign aims to improve understanding of universal health coverage and the importance of primary health care as its foundation and to spur action from individuals, policy-makers and health-care workers to make universal health care a reality for everyone.

Advocacy events will be held around the world to fuel the momentum of the #HealthForAll movement and to highlight our goal of achieving a fairer, healthier world in which no one is left behind.

The focus will be on equity and solidarity, on raising the bar for health for everyone, everywhere by addressing gaps in services, and leaving no one behind.

Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. To make health for all a reality, governments need to invest in quality, accessible primary health care. Health workers need to care and advocate for patients and educate them on how to get and stay healthy.