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Friday, 10 April 2015

Universal Health Coverage Partnership Programme

On April 10, the Universal Health Coverage Partnership Programme was presented at the Infopoint Lunch-time Conference: EU/LUX-WHO. Universal health coverage represents a concept defining that all people can use the curative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship. The World Health Organization entered into an agreement with the European Union and Luxembourg in 2011 aiming to strengthen the capacity of Ministries of Health  in 19 selected countries (such as Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone etc. ), to establish and reinforce a comprehensive social dialogue between all stakeholders in the health sector in order to define the most suitable health policies and strategies in their countries. There are 388 million people benefitting from this partnership, which is central to tackling issues of nutrition and coherent with the Sustainable Development Goals. Universal coverage is a broad concept; one of its fundamental aspects is financial flexibility, meaning that money needs to be spent according to the country’s needs. For instance, in Burkina Faso the Partnership has contributed to a better integration of the free healthcare policy within the overall Health Financing Strategy, whereas in Guinea or Sierra Leone, it provided support to coordination mechanism for Ebola. The key of this programme is flexibility regarding the funding: to tailor and re-tailor along the way depending on the priorities of the countries.