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Posted at: Apr 10, 2018, 1:09 AM; last updated: Apr 10, 2018, 1:09 AM (IST)WORLD HEALTH DAY CELEBRATIONS

WHO experts call for universal health coverage

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9

A function to mark the World Health Day was organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) country office in India in collaboration with Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) on Monday.

The World Health Day programme was organised as part of the 22nd annual conference of the North Zone Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and the 13th annual conference of the IAPSM Punjab chapter.

The event was attended by a large number of experts and representatives from the WHO. During the programme, WHO experts and representatives gave a strong call for ensuring universal health coverage (UHC).

While speaking on the occasion, the WHO South-East Asia regional director, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, said, “It is promise of the UHC that all people will have access to quality health services when and where they need them without suffering any kind of financial hardship.”

“Healthier population in turn creates more productive economies that raise living standards. The UHC will help achieve a healthier, more equitable and secure South-East Asia Region,” she added.

The WHO representative to India, Dr Henk Bekedam, said, “Achieving the UHC has the potential to contribute to India’s social and economic growth. India is firmly and steadily moving forward on the path to the UHC.”

“The WHO as a partner is committed to work with the government and other stakeholders in successfully navigating this journey towards a healthy and prosperous India,” added Dr Bekedam while commending the government for its recent bold initiatives.

The event focused on deliberating on various facets of the UHC with respect to health financing and insurance, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, child and adolescent health, besides gender.

The WHO has declared Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as the theme for this year’s World Health Day. The organisation is calling on world leaders to live up to promises they made when they agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and committed to take concrete steps to advance health of all the people.

It means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.

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