Universal health coverage

Universal health coverage

About universal health coverage (UHC)

Universal health coverage (UHC) aims to ensure that all people receive essential health services without falling into poverty due to high health expenses. It was endorsed at the UN General Assembly back in 2012. By 2015, UHC was officially included in the UN's 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Since then, UHC has become a critical global health priority around the world. This means that drastic changes are to be made in current complex health systems that elicit societal challenges. What does the transition to UHC and domestic funding mean for the HIV and AIDS response? How do we ensure all marginalised communities are included, such as children, LGBT, people living with diseases, people who use drugs, sex workers and young women and girls affected by HIV? What can we do to steer policy development in the right direction? Dive into articles on this page that help answer these complex questions about inclusive UHC implementation. 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3

Learn more about UHC

Read the stories of activists ensuring UHC leaves no one behind 
Activists from Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, Ukraine and Vietnam describe the realities they face and the actions they are taking to ensure UHC truly leaves no one behind.

Understand how UHC works 
Articles written by our lobbyists in Washington, Brussels and Geneva will help you understand the technical side of UHC.

Delve into our research
Research, undertaken by our PITCH programme, reveals opportunities and major areas of concern as countries move towards UHC, while at the same time transitioning from international to domestic funding for HIV programmes. The research is based on experiences from Kenya, Indonesia, Uganda and Ukraine. 

Keep an eye on this page. We add new resources every week.

What can you do?

In less than a month, on 23 September 2019, the UN High-Level Meeting on UHC will take place in New York. This provides a unique opportunity to make our voices heard and raise high-level political awareness on themes that matter. We, at Aidsfonds, call on you to help spread the word on the necessary inclusion of an AIDS response in UHC and a required focus on all key populations. How can you do this? Join the movement by sharing the articles below with your social network. 

Aidsfonds sharing

Dive into UHC-related articles, researches and interviews

Why universal health coverage is crucial for an effective AIDS response

What is universal health coverage? Who and what should be covered? What does the transition to UHC and domestic funding mean for HIV and AIDS? Find out how our technical experts dare to ask tough questions and seek for inclusive answers. 

About UHC

What can we do to ensure UHC  truly leaves no one behind? 

Read the stories of HIV advocates on the challenges marginalised groups affected by HIV face and the actions they're taking.

Human rights perspective on UHC

Governments and multilateral donors speak out on the role of communities in UHC
A reflection by Marielle Hart and Wanja Ngure on the PITCH side event at the first ever High-Level Meeting on universal health coverage (UHC) in September. 

Governments and multilateral donors speak out on the role of communities in UHC

How to ensure communities affected by HIV in Vietnam can access UHC

Vietnam began introducing universal health coverage in 2010. The biggest component is social health insurance, which the government uses to fund an essential package of services for all those registered. HIV treatment was not included in the package until concerted advocacy efforts with the engagement of communities most affected by HIV convinced the government to change track in 2014. 

Khuất Thị Hải Oanh - Vietnam

Blog - universal health coverage: towards strong accountability and community-engagement

By Marielle Hart, Head of Policy US 

The first ever UN High Level Meeting on universal health coverage (UHC) is a momentous occasion as it will result in the adoption of a Political Declaration and a set of commitments, which will guide UN Member States in years to come on their road towards the realisation of UHC and the right to health. For Aidsfonds, the UHC HLM gives us the opportunity to support our partners in their calls to their governments to include marginalised and key populations in their statements. To further support their cause we will also be calling for stronger accountability and community engagement in the implementation of UHC.

Marielle Hart

Global Fund role in attaining UHC will be in focus at UNGA

The 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) will commence today, Tuesday 17 September 2019. This assembly will include the first-ever UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). It provides a chance to advocate for the inclusion of the HIV/AIDS response and marginalised communities in proper UHC execution worldwide. What does UHC mean for the role and necessity of the Global Fund? 

United Nations General Assembly - UHC

Why lessons from HIV must be heeded as UHC rolls out in East and Southern Africa

Although all countries in East and Southern Africa have expressed commitment to universal health coverage (UHC) and are making moves towards it, implementation varies widely between countries. 

Felicita Hikuam

Why Kenya’s UHC pilot cannot afford to ignore HIV

In 2018, Kenya began piloting universal health coverage (UHC). But a lack of meaningful engagement with civil society and clarity on what the UHC package covers are raising concerns. Dive into a perspective of Kenyan human rights activist Wanja Ngure. 

Wanja's interview

How to bring UHC to marginalised groups in Indonesia

In 2018, an Indonesian Presidential Decree stated that health services will not be covered by the Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional (JKN) a contributory national health insurance scheme, for conditions arising from drug or alcohol dependence, personal accident or a “hobby” that is harmful to the individual. This stands to hamper access to HIV treatment for people who use drugs and others who are linked to stigmatised activities, such as sex workers and men who have sex with men.

Baby's interview

UHC in Ukraine: how to stop services from shrinking

In Ukraine, debates around universal health coverage are closely linked with wide-sweeping health reform and the partial withdrawal of Global Fund support. In the Global Fund’s new grant cycle, which began in January 2018, Ukraine is gradually transitioning activities and procurements from non-government organisations to the government-run Public Health Centre. But there are concerns that, when state funding becomes the main source of support for people most affected by HIV, some essential services will be lost.

Anton Basenko

Integrating the HIV response into universal health coverage

Research reveals opportunities and major areas of concern as countries move towards UHC, while at the same time transitioning from international to domestic funding for HIV programmes.

UHC research

Advocacy brief: Community responses for health - A gamechanger for primary health care and UHC

This brief – by the Free Space Process and the Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV Response (PITCH) – advocates for the recognition, inclusion and resourcing of community-based and led responses for health.

Advocacy brief: Community responses for health

PITCH calls for global support to community-led responses in universal health coverage to end AIDS

The UNAIDS PCB 44th meeting in Geneva provides a unique opportunity to share experiences of how UHC can benefit from the lessons learnt from the HIV response and identify priorities and areas of action for joint programmes to ensure that UHC achieves its full potential for the HIV response and for human health and well-being.

PITCH calls for global support to community-led responses in universal health coverage to end AIDS

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