What Is World Health Day And Why Does It Matter?

The theme of this year’s World Health Day, held on April 7, is universal health coverage (UHC). Whether you have excellent health insurance or struggle to meet your medical needs, learn more about the importance of this event and why it matters.

Why Universal Health Coverage?

World Health Day is a global event that raises awareness about the need for everyone around the globe to obtain the health care they need. With adequate health care, individuals and communities escape poverty, gain economic advantages and receive a basic human right.

Unfortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that millions of people around the world must choose between paying for health care coverage and buying essentials like housing and food. All countries can and should take steps to increase health care coverage, reduce health care costs and decrease the risk of health-related poverty. In fact, UHC is a goal of all UN member states by 2030.

What is Universal Health Coverage?

With universal health coverage, individuals and communities gain access to quality and equitable health services. These comprehensive services address common health concerns, reduce disease and death, and can include screenings, prevention, vaccines, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

UHC does not mean free coverage for everyone, a guaranteed health package that’s the same in every country or health financing for communities in need. It also focuses more on communities rather than on meeting each individual's specific needs. However, UHC does advocate for the expansion of health service coverage based on need and funding. Its initiatives also seek to empower individuals to remain active in making health care decisions. 

How to Support World Health Day

While you may have access to the health care you need, millions of other people don’t. Get involved and spread awareness for this important cause. To support World Health Day and UHC:

  • Share the World Health Day campaign on social media and by word-of-mouth.
  • Ask the health workers you know to fill millions of open health care positions across the globe.
  • Contact your Senators and Representative, and ask them to advocate for better health care for all Americans.
  • Volunteer at a local free or low-cost clinic.
  • Review your health insurance coverage to ensure you’re taking advantage of all your covered benefits.
  • Talk to your doctor and discover ways you can improve your health.
  • Encourage your family members, friends and neighbors to make healthy lifestyle choices.
On April 7, join WHO and advocate for universal health coverage. This important human right is good for individuals, communities and the world.
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