World Health Day is held every year to mark the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is used to raise awareness of global health. A core priority of WHO is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and all United Nations (UN) member states have agreed to try to achieve this by 2030 as part of wider development goals.

Why is UHC critical?

Half the world’s population do not have coverage of essential health services (including public health initiatives). UHC is about access to the basics. Many people are pushed into extreme poverty (living on less than US$1 a day) because they have to pay for basic health care for themselves, their families and friends. This can amount to almost 10% of their household budgets. This has also increased as a problem in more advanced economies; with poorer sections of the population spending at least 10% on out-of-pocket health expenses. Good access to basic healthcare for all people allows children to go to school and adults to learn a living.  You can find additional information on the WHO website.