By Asma’u Ahmad
The world has made great strides towards giving everyone access to affordable health care, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
The Director General of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus stated this on Monday, citing recent legislation in various countries. At the start of the WHO annual meeting in Geneva, Tedros pointed to Kenya’s universal health coverage scheme, India’s health protection for poor families, and South Africa’s health insurance bill.
Tedros also reported progress from Egypt, El Salvador, Greece and the Philippines. “The world has made great progress towards universal health coverage,” he said.
At least half of the world population has no access to essential health services, and about 100 million people are pushed into poverty each year because they have to pay for health care.
As defined by the WHO, universal health coverage means that everyone should be able get quality medical care without running the risk of suffering financial hardship.
Tedros stressed that this goal will not be achieved unless staffing problems in the health care sector are addressed.
“The world is currently facing a shortfall of 18 million health workers to achieve and sustain universal health coverage by 2030,” he said. “It is imperative that all countries invest in jobs to close that gap and deliver health for all.”
Report says representatives from the more than 190 WHO member states will not only discuss this issue in Geneva, but they are also expected to adopt its new International Classification of Diseases.