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Everyone to access vaccines

António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, addresses a press conference at the conclusion of the Refugee Agency’s annual Executive Committee session. 09 October 2015 (UN photo by Jean-Marc Ferré)

António Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, addresses a press conference at the conclusion of the Refugee Agency’s annual Executive Committee session.
09 October 2015 (UN photo by Jean-Marc Ferré)

(WEBPUBLICAPRESS) – United Nations / New York – Stressing again that  half the world’s population is not able to access affordable, high quality healthcare, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres delivered a sobering speech at the Ministerial meeting on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). With the COVID-19 pandemic in focus he said that our health systems are inadequate. Here is short but important message with few recommendations to the world on this issue:

“Weak health systems and unequal access to healthcare are major reasons why COVID-19 has killed one million people and infected more than 30 million around the world.

Under-investment in health is having a devastating impact on societies and economies, undermining progress on all the Sustainable Development Goals.

COVID-19 has made the need for Universal Health Coverage, outlined in the strong Political Declaration that emerged from last year’s meeting, more urgent than ever.
Achieving Universal Health Coverage is a major recommendation in our latest policy brief.

Other recommendations include strengthening public health measures; coordinating the global response to the pandemic; and protecting other health services during the pandemic, including mental health and sexual and reproductive health programmes.

We also call for funding for the groundbreaking ACT-Accelerator initiative to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to future COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatment, which should be seen as a global public good.

Universal Health Coverage is not only essential to end the pandemic. It will also drive progress across all health-related SDGs, while strengthening the primary health systems that are fundamental to tackling non-communicable diseases. And it is the only way to prepare for future health crises we know will come.

I hope today’s meeting will build momentum for urgent action to transform policies and systems and deliver health and human security for all,” Guterres said..

Thank you.

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