Today is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, and we have a lot of reasons to be inspired. From the continued scale up of Liberia’s National Community Health Assistant Program to the growing right to health movement, 2018 has proven that we can advance UHC when we work together.
In October, Community Health Worker Ruth Tarr (pictured above with her daughter) traveled for three days from Rivercess County, Liberia to Astana, Kazakhstan— by foot, jeep, and airplane— to speak at the historic Global Conference on Primary Healthcare. Speaking at the World Health Organization’s launch of community health worker guidelines, she said, “We will extend community and primary health care to all people so that there can be justice in health for all.”
Due to the leadership of the Government of Liberia, the National Community Health Assistant Program now serves over 700,000 people with life-saving primary health services. More than 3,400 community health workers and clinical supervisors have been deployed, and have conducted over 840,000 home visits, treated 420,000 children under-five, and provided 166,000 women with access to family planning.
This new declaration emphasizes the critical role of strengthening primary health systems in advancing both the sustainable development goals and UHC. The declaration states, “Together we can and will achieve health and well-being for all, leaving no one behind.” It marks a milestone in a growing right to health movement—in fact, today is the first time in history that the UN is officially supporting UHC day.
We know we can go further for the right to health movement when we walk together. The Community Health Impact Coalition and Communities at the Heart of Universal Health Coverage campaign are a testament to the power of working together to advance high-quality community health worker programs that are financially sustainable and led by government partners.
This movement would not be possible without you—individuals who believe not only that health is a human right, but also that we have the ability to realize this right by investing in community health systems. We look forward to continuing to work together in 2019 to advance our vision of a health worker within reach of everyone, everywhere.