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Tracking Universal Health Coverage in the WHO African Region, 2022
In 2015, Member States of the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the third goal of the agenda focusing on health - good health and well-being - thereby identifying the attainment of universal health coverage (UHC) as its core target. In response to this development, the WHO Regional Office for Africa developed the Framework of actions for health systems strengthening towards UHC in the context of the SDGs in the African Region, as a harmonized guidance to countries in strengthening their health systems for the achievement of UHC. This framework was developed at the inaugural Regional forum on health systems strengthening in December 2016, in Windhoek, Namibia. It was subsequently adopted by the Sixty-seventh session of the Regional Committee for Africa in August 2017.
Across the Region, a range of technical actions, investments, monitoring approaches and innovations for health systems development are being adopted by countries. Similarly, at the regional level, the UHC flagship programme and a series of toolkits to support the implementation of the Framework have been put in place to support countries in these efforts. Platforms for policy dialogue have fostered cross-country learning and experience sharing. These have been through the Region's flagship forum on health systems strengthening for UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This report comes at a time when countries are still picking up the pieces from the impact of COVID-19 on their health systems, with disruptions in the delivery of essential health services. The pandemic has exposed numerous vulnerabilities in the health systems of the Region, including disparities in service coverage between the rich and the poor, and gaps in social protection. It has also showed that health security and attainment of universal health coverage are inseparable aspirations and consequently, efforts to achieve these must go hand in hand, while building resilient populations.
Over the last two decades, substantial progress has been made in the Region in the UHC service coverage index (SCI). The report showcases the Region's commitment to aligning its development agenda with the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the policy shifts needed for a people-centred approach to UHC. Additionally, it makes suggestions for strategic shifts towards the UHC agenda, providing the Region with the necessary strategic direction.
The commitment of all Member States to UHC and other SDG targets is highly critical. We hope that by sharing our regional story on progress towards the attainment of UHC, we can walk this path towards the 2030 Agenda together, leaving no one behind.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti
WHO Regional Office for Africa
African Index Medicus (AIM) Coordination
Data Analytics and Knowledge Management (DAK)
World Health Organization
Regional Office for Africa
GPN: 39425 Fax: 242 839 673
or 47 241 39673
HIFA profile: Pascal Mouhouelo is Head Librarian at WHO/AFRO. He is also a trainer for biomedical researchers using the HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme, which offers free or very low cost online access to the major journals in biomedical not-for-profit institutions in developing countries. He is also Coordinator of the African Index Medicus and the lead author of a PLOS Medicine 2006 article "Where There Is No Internet: Delivering Health Information via the Blue Trunk Libraries." which describes a practical way to address the local absence of internet and contemporary medical textbooks in many African health care settings. Pascal is a member of the HIFA working bgroup on Library and Information Services and is also a HIFA Country representative.
mouhouelop AT afro.who.int