The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UNAIDS, PAI, Christian Aid, West Africa AIDS Foundation, Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, Send Ghana and Hope for Future Generations convened a country-level advocacy meeting for the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UN HLM on UHC) in Ghana. National and international civil society representatives met with the Ministry of Health, members of parliament, media and individual activists in Accra on July 2, 2019. The objective was to bring together stakeholders to identify challenges to UHC advancement and discuss how to collectively bolster UHC progress at the national level. Sessions consisted of presentations and group work on upcoming global advocacy opportunities including the upcoming UN HLM on UHC, identifying country-level gaps, and developing an advocacy action plan.
There is consensus coming out of the meeting attended by a total of 57 multi-stakeholder representatives that all sectors of the economy need to be active on the road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and communication should focus on UHC as a human right. On 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, the participants agreed that the message of increasing funds allocated to at least 5% of GDP towards health expenditure is important. They also emphasized the need for enacting and enforcing legislation to prosecute perpetrators of mismanagement and misappropriation of health funds.
In summary, the recommendations from the meeting are that the Government of Ghana should (1) implement progressive tax measures to mobilize resources for health, (2) ensure that investments are made not just in increasing the quantity of Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, but also in improving the quality of CHPS care(3) prioritize increasing human resources for health, (4) update national health governance documents to more clearly reflect health as a fundamental human right, and (5) ensure the involvement of civil society in the initial policy planning and drafting process.
Detailed notes from the meeting are available here. Going forward, civil society in Ghana plans to present an official statement of the UHC advancement recommendations to the government.