Union intervention at the 72nd World Health Assembly on Universal Health Coverage

At the 72nd World Health Assembly today, Member States discussed preparation for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Union read out the following intervention, urging Member States to ensure that the upcoming 2019 political declaration on UHC synergises with previous political declarations on tuberculosis (TB) and other disease areas:

“At the 2018 United Nations High Level Meeting on TB, member states endorsed a political declaration on ending global TB, which committed to specific targets for expanding TB diagnosis, treatment and prevention, including new commitments for reaching children who have been widely neglected in the TB response.

“With 36 percent of people with TB going undiagnosed, and 90 percent of the children who died from TB last year left untreated, there is no doubt that the goal of UHC goes hand-in-hand with the Sustainable Development Goal to end the global TB epidemic by 2030.

“In preparation for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on UHC, we highlight the importance of ensuring the 2019 political declaration on UHC synergises with previous political declarations on TB and other disease areas, including antimicrobial resistance, noncommunicable diseases and HIV/AIDS. We would like to see the UHC declaration text include language endorsing the need to scale up care for TB and other diseases included in the SDGs through primary healthcare—including training and otherwise strengthening the health workforce to deliver universal access to quality, person-centred care.

“In addition, we would like to see a commitment that national health systems will preserve the specialised functions and funding needed to conduct critical high-level functions including TB surveillance, programme monitoring, training and supervision. Maintaining these specialised functions is critical for quality of care and for monitoring progress against TB and other epidemics toward reaching the SDGs.”

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