On World Health Day, recommit to health for all

Bringing health services closer to people in Kyrgyzstan

“Health is our most precious asset. It must not be a luxury enjoyed by the privileged,” says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, on the occasion of World Health Day. “We all benefit socially, economically and environmentally from a world that seeks health for all. It is time that we come together and make this a common goal.”

This year, WHO marks its 70th anniversary. Health is a fundamental human right, and health for all is a vision that the Organization has pursued in partnership with countries since its founding. On World Health Day, WHO calls on leaders in the European Region to recommit to health for all through concerted action for universal health coverage (UHC).

Many countries in the Region have made great progress towards UHC, but every country could do more to ensure that everyone has access to quality health services when and where they need them without facing financial hardship. Stronger focus is needed on securing financial protection, especially for poorer people.

There are many examples of ways that countries across the Region are successfully moving towards UHC. Here, we share 4 personal stories illustrating some of these efforts.

  • Robia, a 9-year-old from Tajikistan who contracted poliomyelitis as a baby, receives rehabilitation services as part of the Tajik Ministry of Health and Social Protection’s disability and rehabilitation programme.
  • Kyzylgul, a health volunteer in a small mountain village in Kyrgyzstan, helps detect hypertension and shares public health information, bringing health services closer to people in her community.
  • Karam, a migrant worker living in Moscow, Russian Federation, is treated free of charge for tuberculous meningitis.
  • Renāte, Chief Physician at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital in Riga, Latvia, explains how the introduction of electronic health, particularly electronic prescriptions, widens the scope, transparency, quality and accessibility of health services.