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A Regional Conference for Innovative Approaches to Building Momentum for Universal Health Coverage

Our vision for Action 3.8 Conference is to show all delegates the endless opportunities for action towards building momentum for Universal Health Coverage in Africa. This conference will explore the development and innovation of ideas, appreciation of different perspectives, and how to most effectively act on them to enact sustainable change. UHC Action has a springboard of approach that explores the intricate cross -cutting connections across access, quality, demand and supply so that true transformative actions can be a reality for Universal Health Coverage.

Our participants will have their perspectives challenged, expanded and strengthened within the learning ecosystem of the conference, whilst while underlining the key pillars of UHC , from various global, regional, and subregional experiences.

Theme: Leave No One Behind to Ensure Universal Health Coverage for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All at All Ages in Africa Sub Themes and Eight Lines of Action:

  • 1. Action for Responsibility & Accountability for RMNCAH + Nutrition +NTDs + NCDs
  • 2. Intersectoral action by multiple stakeholders and Open Partnership
  • 3. Health systems strengthening for UHC
  • 4. Respect for equity and human rights and quality of care
  • 5. Sustainable financing for primary healthcare
  • 6. Scientific research and innovation including smart technology
  • 7. Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation for UHC
  • 8. Health Information, Literacy and Public engagement in the diverse African context

Health is a fundamental human right and a key indicator of sustainable development. Besides, Africa needs to gain critical traction towards this goal. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2015-2030, demonstrate a stronger global commitment to health, underpinned by target 3.8 for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that is premised on a vision of a future where all people and communities have access to needed quality health services without risk of financial hardship. UHC at the center of action for SDG3, “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” presents a prospect to promote a far-reaching and coherent approach to health, beyond the control of individual diseases, to focus on how the health system delivers integrated, people-centered health services with strategic, sustainable and scalable financing and capacity to effectively respond to the challenges.

Now in its third year, the SDG3 alongside the 16 other goals have the potential to meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world.[1] They work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. They provide clear guidelines and target for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and planet. This is important because poor health threatens the rights of children to education, restricts economic opportunities for men and women and escalates poverty within households, communities and countries around the world. In addition to being a cause of poverty, health is impacted by poverty and strongly connected to other aspects of sustainable development, including water and sanitation, gender equality, climate change and peace and stability. No person, family or community should become impoverished by the burden of ill health.

SDG3’s target 3.8 clearly points out the need to achieve Universal Health Coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. To quote the the UN Declaration on the SDGs that emphasizes that to achieve the overall health goal, ‘we must achieve universal health coverage (UHC) and access to quality health care. No one must be left behind’. This places UHC as the target that underpins and is key to the achievement of all the other health targets. The use of UHC to frame discussions on SDG3 helps make the health agenda more cohesive. Health is well placed in the SDGs. The health goal (SDG3) is broad: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. In addition, health is framed as contributor to and beneficiary of sustainable development.