By Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of HIV, Health and Development, UNDP

Photo Credit: UNDP Bangladesh / Fahad Kaizer

On January 30, 2020, experts and officials around the world raised the alarm about a looming global health crisis.

One year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), we are in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis affecting the health and livelihoods of billions. It is now clear just how ill-prepared countries’ health systems were for an emergency of this scope and scale.

By Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO Amref Health Africa

Over the past decade Africa has made tremendous gains in increasing access to immunization directly through domestic resources and multi-laterally through the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). This laudable progress has brought the continent closer to ending several diseases such as neonatal tetanus and Meningitis A, goals that seem more achievable following the eradication of wild poliovirus in the World Health Organization (WHO)-classified African Region, a geographical area comprising of 47 countries in Africa, in August 2020.

While such milestones offer a well-deserved cause for celebration, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic…

By Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of HIV, Health and Development, UNDP; Ludo Bok, Manager, SDGs and UNAIDS, HIV, Health and Development Group, UNDP

Photo Credit: UNDP Angola/Cynthia R. Matonhodze

This has been a historic year for scientific innovation, but even the most advanced science only realises its full potential if it can be delivered to those in need — a dynamic we are watching play out not only with COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, but also with innovations for HIV.

Last month, results from a new clinical trial revealed the injectable drug cabotegravir to be remarkably effective at preventing HIV in women, giving the world a powerful new tool in the fight to end AIDS by 2030. …

By Mandeep Dhaliwal, Director of HIV, Health and Development, UNDP; Ludo Bok, Manager, SDGs and UNAIDS, HIV, Health & Development Group UNDP

As new coronavirus cases are confirmed each day, fear and misinformation continue to spread more rapidly than COVID-19 itself. False or misleading claims in the media, buoyed by harmful stereotypes, have fueled discrimination and violence that revive painful histories of attributing disease outbreaks to marginalized groups. Health officials have taken note of the disturbing trend, cautioning that stigma and discrimination could undermine efforts to contain the outbreak.

This is not the first time stigma and discrimination have stymied a response to a growing epidemic and hampered progress toward critical global health goals, including universal health coverage. When HIV first came…

By Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa

We all aspire to live in a world where every individual has access to the highest attainable standard of health without distinction of any kind; a world in which we all enjoy the fundamental right to make decisions about our bodies without facing any kind of opposition or barriers.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to turn these aspirations into reality by strengthening health systems so that all individuals receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. …

By Remco van de Pas, Vice-President, Medicus Mundi International — Network Health for All!

There was once a dream. A dream that led to the establishment of the United Nations (UN) in 1946 whereby an idealistic view of international cooperation was regarded as a key mechanism to prevent war and free humanity from widespread misery. Chapter I of the UN charter clarifies that the organization is based on the sovereign equality of all its member states while Chapter IX clarifies that the UN shall promote “higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development”. …

By Tariah Adams, Communications & Advocacy Officer, White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria

As part of a town hall meeting in Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State, Nigeria last year, Zainab told a crowd of community members that she does not use the local primary health care centre because it was just too expensive. Zainab is not alone. In a country where about 145 women die daily from pregnancy-related causes [1] and only 46% of deliveries are attended to by skilled attendants (NDHS 2018) [2], the local hospital costs 2600 naira, or $8 U.S. dollars, for an uncomplicated delivery in Zainab’s agrarian community. This is a significant obstacle to the poorest in…

By Vicky T. Okine Executive Director, Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights


The Alma Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care (PHC) in 1978 reiterated a very central component of health; the importance of community involvement and participation in health decision-making processes in order to achieve a “people-centred” health system that is robust, effective and sustainable and at the same time provides the opportunity to identify and address the needs of communities. Indeed, in more than 40 years since this declaration, this point has never become clearer than now as countries across the world work assiduously to attain Universal Health Coverage under the Sustainable Development Goal 3 by 2030.

Ghana’s Health Sector

By Maziko Matemba, Director, Health and Rights Education Programme (HREP)

A healthy living will always be of utmost priority to every individual despite society marginalization and differences. From one age group to the other, from one tribal race to the next, regardless of disability and other experiences, lies a distinct commonality among us all and that is our health and the right to live healthy. We crave access to high-quality services that offer prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care, including access to essential medicines and vaccines without facing any financial barriers. We must have accountability on how those services are being delivered to us.

More than half of the population…

By Lundi Anne Omam Ngo Bibaa, Assistant Executive Director of Reach Out Cameroon

Every country has been involved in providing some form of primary health care to their population. There are disparities among those who benefit and those who do not. The most vulnerable populations must often choose between access to quality health care or paying for medicines or food. This means that 100 million persons become poor every year just because they have to pay for care and millions die annually because they cannot access care (World Health Report 2010). …

UHC Coalition

1000+ organizations in 121 countries advocating for strong, equitable health systems that leave no one behind. →

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store