The term “universal health coverage” (UHC) refers to the idea that everyone has free access to the complete spectrum of high-quality healthcare services they require whenever and wherever they need them. It encompasses the entire spectrum of fundamental health services, including palliative care and palliative care across the life span as well as prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation.
These services must be provided by health and care workers who are evenly distributed throughout the health system, have access to products of the highest quality, and are paid a living wage. They also need to be supported sufficiently.
By shielding people from the financial repercussions of paying for healthcare out of their own pockets, it is less likely that they will be forced into poverty due to unexpected illness that forces them to spend all of their savings, sell off their possessions, or take out loans, ruining their futures and frequently those of their children.
When the world’s governments approved the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, achieving Universal Health Care was one of their objectives. Countries reiterated that health is a requirement for, result of, and indicator of the social, economic, and environmental components of sustainable development during the 2019 UNGA High Level Meeting on UHC. By 2025, 1 billion more people should have access to UHC, according to the Thirteenth General Programme of Work of the World Health Organization, which also seeks to prevent 1 billion more people from health emergencies and improve 1 billion more people’s health and well-being.
In the SDG’s, progress on UHC is tracked using two indicators:
- coverage of essential health services (SDG 3.8.1); and
- catastrophic health spending (and related indicators) (SDG 3.8.2).
This data visualization shows coverage of essential health services in Africa.
You can download a high quality version the visualization here
To view the visualization as an interactive dashboard click here