December 2014

13. Universal Health Coverage: A Cornerstone of Sustainable Development

Created by:

Rachel McMahon



Today marks the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day. Individuals and organizations around the world are joining voices to call to make universal health coverage (UHC) a cornerstone of the sustainable development agenda.

The Millennium Development Goals are set to expire in 2015, so significant focus is being placed on the post-2015 development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to be adopted in September 2015. 

UHC is a concept that is heavily endorsed by numerous UN bodies, governments, international organizations, and advocates as a means to improve health care across the globe. There is strong support for the inclusion of UHC in the post-2015 framework as well. In fact, the current health goal outlined in the Open Working Group proposed framework is in line with UHC, challenging governments to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

The MDGs have been vital to the global community’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS — outlining clear global priorities with a set of defined targets and deadlines for countries to strive for. It is in large part thanks to MDG 6 (which included targets encouraging universal access to HIV treatment and reversing the spread of AIDS by 2015) that governments prioritized the HIV/AIDS response and progress to eliminate pediatric AIDS was made.

Now, as the next set of priorities for 2015-2030 are being developed, it is important to strive for new and equally as ambitious targets. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) could help move the world forward in its progress to fight HIV/AIDS. The poorest and most marginalized populations are often the ones that bear the brunt of preventable deaths and diseases like HIV/AIDS. To fight these health threats, we must reach the populations consistently hit hardest by the epidemic. Access to quality health care should never depend on where you live, how much money you have or your race, gender or age.

EGPAF is pleased to join 500+ organizations from over 100 countries to launch Universal Health Coverage Day. Connect with @EGPAF to learn more about this important effort and join the #HealthForAll conversation. Your voice matters!

Because an AIDS-free generation is not just a dream, from November 24 through December 26, we are highlighting 25 ways that EGPAF, our partners, and every-day people are helping and/or can help make it a reality. Pediatric HIV/AIDS is solvable, but we can't do it alone. Each and every one of us has an important role to play.