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COUNTRY COMMITMENTS

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OPENING PLENARY

UHC2030

UHC2030 has produced the first synthesis of the state of commitments to universal health coverage (UHC). The review is based on diverse stakeholder perspectives, which reflect current country situations and asks a simple question: are governments taking action towards meeting their UHC commitments? UHC2030 urges stakeholders to use the synthesis’ political messages and ask national political leaders in all 193 UN member states to act on UHC.

This tool was developed as part of the State of UHC Commitment to make it easier to access and use data to hold governments accountable for their actions. Individual country profiles provide country stakeholders with the necessary information to feed into inclusive and participatory review processes for assessing UHC progress and action on commitments over time. You can access a snapshot of the state of individual country UHC commitments and an overview of global progress to facilitate cross-country comparisons. The dashboard draws on data available from 2010 to the present.

As a multi-stakeholder partnership, UHC2030 can add value by convening partners to strengthen common messaging, and coordinate strategies and activities to affect positive change for accelerated and equitable progress towards UHC. It can help to bring together more technical and political partners, bridge advocacy efforts between the country and global levels, and leverage planned processes and events as appropriate.


LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE

Leadership dialogue

The COVID-19 crisis raises broader health, economic and political issues, which will need to be addressed if the world is to learn appropriate lessons from the pandemic. The purpose of this report is to highlight some of these lessons now, particularly in relation to strengthening health systems to improve health security and achieve Universal Health Coverage. Furthermore, reflecting on these lessons, The Elders make specific recommendations to policymakers and the global health community on how to build back better to help get the world back on track to reach these targets and the broader Sustainable Development Goals.

Build Back Better to Deliver Health for All makes the case for why we must invest in strong and resilient health systems that can prepare for and respond to disease outbreaks while continuing to deliver critical routine services, as part of universal health coverage. We call on governments and donors to protect the health and well-being of a generation of children and ensure their right to survive and thrive.

The report, co-authored by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, EWEC, PMNCH, GFF and Countdown to 2030, shows the progress made since EWEC was launched to prioritize the health and well-being of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. The report examines this decade of progress but also presents continued challenges to advancing women’s and children’s health, such as the threats of conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 on these fragile gains. 

Leaders across sectors have signed a symbolic commitment to protect the progress and investments made towards the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents. Join them and sign the call to action in this open letter here: https://bit.ly/33SVGtn 


PROTECTING THE PROGRESS

National leaders from around the world are responding to the needs and experiences of women, children and adolescents in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth leaders sit down with ministers and senior government leaders for brief discussions about key issues related to national commitments to increase action and accountability including:

  • investment plans to improve the health, well-being and rights of women, children and adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond;

  • policy measures to address critical health system gaps and achieve UHC;

  • leadership on multi-sectoral action – across line ministries for health, gender, finance, education, food security, nutrition, WASH, social protection -- to assist in improving the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents;  

  • government measures to support community-based monitoring and feedback, responding to community experiences and improving delivery of care for women, children and adolescents.


PMNCH has issued a 7-point Call to Action, calling on governments to strengthen political commitment, policies and financing to protect and promote the health and rights of women, children and adolescents during the COVID-19 response and recovery. The Call to Action aims to mobilize more than 1,000 PMNCH partners and to engage new constituencies in advocating for continued access to essential and quality care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and the need to invest in and strengthen primary healthcare systems.

As part of PMNCH’s COVID-19 response and to address the crucial needs identified by partners for trustworthy, up-to-date and user-friendly resources on women, children, and adolescent health (WCAH) and COVID-19, PMNCH has developed the Digital Advocacy Toolkits on COVID-19 and WCAH. These toolkits, which are regularly updated, showcase the latest reliable resources specific to WCAH during COVID-19 focusing on critical areas along the continuum of care for sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (SRMNCAH). These toolkits include different types of evidence-based resources such as advocacy and communications-focused resources, multimedia assets, and contextualized resources, to help empower PMNCH members in their advocacy efforts and to support multi-stakeholder collaboration for essential SRMNCH services in times of COVID-19. 


BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Breakout 1: Access to and use of high-quality health services

A new study published in the Lancet Global Health provides evidence of the potential impact of scaling up midwifery care and calls for greater investment in the profession. Interventions which can be delivered entirely by midwives, account for most of maternal and newborn lives saved. Investments in midwives are a cost- effective solution for low and middle-income countries to improve maternal and newborn survival. The study estimates that scaling up the provision of midwifery care could potentially reduce maternal deaths by 67%, newborn deaths by 64% and stillbirths by 65% if midwives were enabled to provide a range of interventions. This could equate to saving 4.3 million lives per year by 2035. 

This roadmap provides a framework and strategies for countries to transform their policies on human resources for health and provide their health workers with the knowledge and technical and behavioural skills necessary for high-quality care by 2030, to ensure that all newborns survive and thrive.

Transform Health is a coalition of organizations dedicated to achieving health for all in the digital age. Its vision is that universal health coverage will be achieved by 2030 by harnessing digital technology and data in ways that are equitable, ethical and enabling to all. This brief introduces Transform Health and provides an overview of the opportunities and risks of digital transformations in health. It outlines what Transform Health is campaigning for and how people can get involved.

Breakout 2: Gender,  SRHR and UHC in the context of COVID-19

  • Global Health Security Depends on Women - rebalancing the unequal social contract for women

    COVID-19 has exposed existing inequalities between and within countries, including gender inequality. This report calls for a new social contract for women in health and highlights 5 areas where gender inequity undermines pandemic response and will undermine achievement of UHC: 1. women's marginalization in COVID-19 decision making 2. lack of decent and safe work for health workers – 70% are women 3. Unpaid/underpaid work by women within health systems, mainly in frontline, community health worker roles 4. lack of gender sensitive approaches to data and gender responsive health systems 5. lack of funding for women's movements on the frontlines of health

  • Global Girlhood Report 2020: How Covid-19 is putting progress in peril
    This Save the Children's report looks at 25 years of progress with and for girls and the threats that the COVID-19 crisis now poses to those hard-won gains. It includes new projections based on the economic impact of COVID-19 in 2020, which will increase the number of girls at risk of child marriage and of adolescent pregnancy. Before COVID-19, around 12 million girls married each year; we now estimate that over the next 12 months, an additional half a million girls will be at risk of child marriage and more than 1 million will be at risk of adolescent pregnancy.


Breakout 3: Social protection for marginalized and vulnerable populations

Globally, many countries are failing to sufficiently prioritize the wellbeing of children and invest in their future potential. In the context of rising child poverty and deprivation resulting from COVID-19, and persistently high humanitarian caseloads fueled by conflict and growing levels of climate risk, this report sets out a clear, evidence-based policy solution for governments. That solution is centered around a firm commitment from all governments to progressively work towards universal child benefits. The primary intended audiences are governments, donors and other development partners.

As the world faces the deepest economic recession since the 1929 Great Depression, social protection is again on the top of the international agenda, years after the adoption in 2012 of Recommendation No.202 on National Social Protection Floors within the International Labour Organization. As countries rush to issue cash transfers, unemployment benefits, and in-kind support for their citizens, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme poverty assesses the responses governments are providing, examines the global state of public services and human rights before the pandemic, and reflects on the challenges that lie ahead.


Session 4: Strengthening multistakeholder platforms for social accountability

In the lead-up to UHC Day 2020 ("Health for All: Protect Everyone"), the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC2030 (CSEM) gathered stories about how civil society organizations are working to protect everyone in the COVID-19 response and continue to push forward UHC goals. In this feature, read stories of innovation and resilience in the civil society response to COVID-19 and its secondary impacts. Also see the COVID-19 Calls to Action from civil society organizations who have engaged with CSEM in the past few months to highlight the importance of an equitable pandemic response.


  • COVID-19 Policy Trade Offs
Released at the UN Special Session on COVID-19, this paper from CSEM and Equal International addresses the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 lockdown policies and other responses on individuals, families, and communities. It draws on available evidence and inputs from civil society and other stakeholders to form recommendations for governments on how to better develop and implement pandemic response policies. 

WHO, UHC2030, the UHC Partnership, and the Health System Governance Collaborative will jointly be launching the Handbook on Social Participation for Universal Health Coverage on 15 December 2020. The focus of the handbook is to illustrate, concretely, how to create an enabling environment for social participation in health policy making, while ably managing the complexities of a participatory process. It also will provide a first step on the path to “build back better”, by engaging those affected from health policies. Participants joining the launch event can access a conference copy of the handbook.


OTHER RESOURCES

Additional partner resources


Globally, many countries are failing to sufficiently prioritize the wellbeing of children and invest in their future potential. In the context of rising child poverty and deprivation resulting from COVID-19, and persistently high humanitarian caseloads fueled by conflict and growing levels of climate risk, this report sets out a clear, evidence-based policy solution for governments. That solution is centered around a firm commitment from all governments to progressively work towards universal child benefits. The primary intended audiences are governments, donors and other development partners.

  • Protecting Everyone: Integration of Noncommunicable Diseases into Universal Health Coverage in the era of COVID-19
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) account for 71% of deaths globally, 85% of which occurred in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. They comprise nearly a third of the disease burden among the poorest billion people, half of which impacts children and young adults. Despite the need, many countries are lagging behind on integrating NCDs in Universal Health Coverage benefits packages putting the lives of millions of children, adolescents and women living with NCDs at risk or pushing them into extreme poverty. This policy research report outlines global progress towards integration of NCDs into UHC benefit packages to date. It analyzes key informant interviews from Australia, Ethiopia, India, Jordan, Mexico, Philippines, Rwanda and Sweden, showcasing country-level examples and exploring the role of NCD prevention and care  in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.