In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 2, 2019, 60 representatives of national and international NGOs, professional associations, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, private sector, and charitable organizations met to discuss advocacy ahead United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UN HLM on UHC). Brought together with support from Consortium of Christian Relief & Development (CCRDA) and Save the Children, participants discussed the domestic priorities for primary health care as a path to UHC and how to address critical challenges in leaving no one behind.
Following the presentation of the Key Asks from the UHC Movement for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage and Civil Society Priority Actions for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, participants provided their perspective. Beyond just identifying the UHC gaps in terms of access to health, they propose that the government clearly defines the gaps, with emphasis on geographical, economic, socio-cultural, and organizational barriers. These processes should involve all actors, including civil society, with participatory accountability mechanisms in place.
Recommendations emerging from the meeting underscore the need for engagement of civil society, people, and communities in reforming the Ethiopia health system to build UHC. Highlights include the following asks to government: (1) Accommodate civil society as a stakeholder within the public health system (2) Reduce high out-of-pocket costs which prevent people living in poverty from accessing healthcare services (3) Promote health literacy for communities through social accountability groups (4) Focus on the improvement of physical health infrastructure, human resources for health, and equitable access to quality health services.
To learn more about the opportunities, challenges, and priorities identified during the one-day meeting, click here to read the full meeting report.