NCDA WHA72 Side Event - Panel
© Gilberto Lontro

Packed room for active discussion at NCDA event on UHC

28th May 2019

Over 300 people attended the event “Rethinking global health: A prerequisite for achieving Universal Health Coverage”, held by the NCD Alliance last Monday 20 May on the sidelines of 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva. 

Two high-level panels representing government ministries, leaders of health and development agencies, people living with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and youth explored challenges, bottlenecks and bold solutions for transforming and scaling up the NCD response globally. 
Prof. Srinath Reddy, President of Public Health Foundation of India, said: “UHC is repositioning people from being patients to partners in care and pace setters for transforming health in society. Inclusion of NCDs in UHC cannot be piecemeal and an adequate emphasis on a strong primary health care system, health promotion and disease prevention goes beyond drugs and diagnostics. Frontline health outposts are ideally positioned to promote health and wellness”.
Our Views Our Voices advocate Abish Romero from Mexico talked about her personal experience of suffering breast cancer at age 24 and how the national health protection system “Seguro Popular” guaranteed her access to treatment. Having been recently diagnosed with depression, she noted that in this case the health system was not equipped to respond. She made a strong call to integrate mental health in UHC packages while recalling that, “too many people with NCDs have huge out of pocket expenses”.
Panelists agreed that for UHC to be successful, it must span the continuum of care across the lifecourse, and called on countries to integrate health promotion, prevention and control of NCDs into UHC national packages, ensuring that the most affected people are engaged throughout the process.  
(Re)watch the panel discussions here: