First Lady Appeals For Universal Healthcare

The First Lady making her presentation


First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has made a passionate appeal for countries to speed up the implementation of the universal basic healthcare as prescribed by the UN Sustainable Development Goal three (SDG 3).

Addressing a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters on universal health coverage under the theme: “Universal Health Coverage: Expanding our Ambition for Health and Well-being in a Post COVID world”, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said many countries  may miss the 2030 universal health target unless we take urgent action.

She said health services must reach everyone regardless of geography or economic status.  “I have travelled the length and breadth of my country, read reports and participated in international meetings. I can safely conclude that universal cannot be applied to a significant portion of our health systems.”

She said the rise of non-communicable diseases and the COVID-19 pandemic both exposed our health systems and derailed some of the progress countries had made in Universal Health Coverage.

The First Lady encouraged governments and health partners to show more commitment to increasing public funding for health, strengthening primary health care systems and to support the access to available healthcare for people.

She also pleaded that there should be more trained health workers, especially at the community level.

“The success of mass vaccination for childhood diseases in many countries, shows us that education and deployment of health personnel to even remote areas is the way to go. We cannot continue to push people into poverty because of illness,” Mrs. Akufo-Addo further stated.

Mrs. Akufo-Addo called on developed countries to commit to support developing countries in the production and distribution of generic essential drugs.

She concluded by tasking all to care enough to ensure geography or economic status are no barriers to accessing quality healthcare.

The four means of implementation targets are: implementing the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, supporting research, development, and universal access to affordable vaccines and medicines, increasing health financing and support the health workforce in developing countries, and improving early warning systems for global health risks.