On December 12, 2018, actors all over the world marked the first Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day officially recognized by the United Nations as an international awareness day. Civil society organizations all over the world, including many CSEM members, commemorated the day under the theme Unite for Universal Health Coverage: Now is the time for collective action. Below is a summary, by country, of some of the activities carried out by CSEM members in the build up to, and on UHC Day.


Academic and Career Development Initiative (ACADI) Cameroon, Value Health Africa (VAHA), and Humanitarian Association for the Less Privileged (HALP) co-hosted a series of activities to mark Universal Health Coverage Day in Cameroon: a community education forum, a radio talk on the national radio, a workshop and dissemination of key messages. The organizations are currently developing a country position statement to be endorsed by civil society and other health actors to advocate with the Ministry of Public Health and national legislative authorities.  Look out for an update on this on our news page!


In Ghana, Primary Health Care Young Leader released a statement on the occasion of Universal Health Coverage Day on December 12. The statement is a call to action to government and other key stakeholders. Read it here.


On December 11, 2018, ahead of Universal Health Coverage Day celebrated on December 12, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram and Pallium India Trust jointly organized a workshop on “Universal Health Coverage & Palliative Care in Kerala – The Way Forward, Call for Action Based on Astana Declaration on Primary Health Care.” Participants formulated this declaration to advance palliative care in the state of Kerala,. This declaration will be submitted to Government of India and to all state governments to strengthen palliative care services towards universal health coverage in India.


On December 13, 2018, CSEM members Tinada Youth Organization and Center for Cancer Awareness participated in the launch of Universal Health Coverage program—Afya Care—in Kisumu City.  The range of free services included in the program are emergency services, child health services, maternal health services, infectious disease management, mental health services, non-communicable disease management, in-patient and out-patient services as well as community health services.  Read President Jomo Kenyatta’s full launch speech here.


Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association and partners co-hosted consultations to discuss health related issues, capture the community’s experiences on primary health and, find out the status of primary health care delivery in rural Nigerian communities.


HELP organized a walk on December 8, 2018, an advocacy seminar December 12, 2018. The seminar was presided by Mr. Javed Jabbar, a former senator, minister and high level media professional—participants ranged from print and electronic media community, representatives from UN agencies, other NGOs, health department and academics.

Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO), together with University of Santo Tomas (UST), and the Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians, organized a UHC Day Forum on December 12, 2018 in Santo Tomas.  The objective of the forum was raise awareness on Universal Health Coverage to medical specialists, doctors, and medical students.  The session further discussed national UHC policies and the pending Universal Health Care legislation.  On the evening of UHC Day, the partners also convened the UHC Advocates’ Night to mobilize support for UHC strategies and action.  The event was attended by UHC advocates representing professional societies, NGOs, academia and public health.


In Kampala, Uganda, Rural Aid Foundation conducted a community dialogue with stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, and over 250 refugees in Kisenyi slum at the refugee social center.  Eight civil society organizations, led by Rural Aid Foundation, called upon government and stakeholders to prioritize refugee health needs for Universal Health Coverage. Read the call here.

United States 

Communities at the Heart of UHC, co-led by CSEM member Living Goods, produced this video to mark Universal Health Coverage Day. The video pays tribute to the communities, where UHC begins, and community health workers who are the backbone of the primary health care system.

CSEM would like to recognize the dedication of civil society organizations all over the world whose contribution to global advocacy for UHC goes far beyond UHC Day. Not all those efforts have been captured in this summary, but all are equally important. CSEM urge civil society actors to continue advocating and lobbying, bringing people and communities on board, for universal health coverage reforms that leave no one behind. For more information on civil society and other sector led UHC Day engagement, visit the UHC Day microsite.