World Health Day is observed every year on April 7 to mark the anniversary of the foundation day of World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO was founded on 7 April 1948, with the principle that all people should be able to realize their right to the highest possible level of health. Every year a different theme is selected keeping in mind the global public health concern.
The theme of 2019 World Health Day is “Universal Health Coverage”
Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community. Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world but millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.
This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April.
Universal health coverage means all people and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship, without discrimination, leaving no one behind. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. Universal health coverage (UHC) allows everyone to obtain the health services they need, when and where they need them, without facing financial hardship.
Reports show that there is an improvement in few services such as immunization, family planning, antiretroviral treatment for HIV and to prevent malaria; however, progress is uneven.
Ayushman Bharat Programme: To expand universal health coverage specially in rural and vulnerable population, Government of India has taken an initiative called “Ayushman Bharat programme”. Its aim is to provide essential health services throughout the country through the two pillars of this programme.
The first initiative is establishing 1, 50,000 ‘Health and Wellness Centers’ that will take primary health care closer to the people;
The second initiative is the ‘National Health Protection Mission’ (NHPM) which will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage upto 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
This will be the world’s largest government funded health care programme with the objective of Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah; Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah (May All Become Happy, May All Be Free From Illness).
We have come a long way to make impossible possible from eradication of smallpox to eradication of polio, yaws, guinea worm disease and elimination of neonatal tetanus. Our next achievement will be “#HealthForAll”.