Back to UHC Day Stories


The dichotomy between the privileged and the disadvantaged has become as bright as day during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in low- and middle-income countries. In Kenya, for example, women and girls were turned away or unable to reach (sexual and reproductive) health services because of the country’s strict curfew. In Uganda, LGBTQIA+ people were left unattended due to the health service chain disruption. ‘Leaving no one behind’ – which is fundamental in reaching UHC – has thus become even more challenging. If anything, the pandemic has shown that, without responsive public health systems that have no financial barriers and are equitably accessible, countries will lack protection against outbreaks.

Our CSO partners KELIN, MHEN, N’weti, and CEHURD described the COVID-19 realities in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda in our joint paper. Investing in health systems strengthening should be front and center in achieving an effective and sustainable COVID-19 response. Some countries’ lack of resources to invest in their health system means that joint action is required.

Everyone, but especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged, would benefit from country governments, multilateral institutions and donor governments working together to implement long-term measures based on true inclusiveness. To ‘leave no one behind’ and to ‘#ProtectEveryone’.

Wemos with partners in the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership (HSAP) is highlighting why stronger health systems are critical not only for the pandemic preparedness but also to attain sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for everyone, everywhere. Watch the video:

To learn more:


In the lead-up to UHC Day 2020 (“Health for All: Protect Everyone”), we are highlighting how CSEM member organizations are contributing to ensure the COVID-19 response protects everyone and keeping momentum going for universal health coverage amid the crisis. See more.

Join us for the virtual UHC Day rally on 12 December 2020 — share your commitment to UHC and call on decision-makers to protect everyone!