Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Coronavirus Crisis – Challenges and Responses: maintaining essential health services while responding to COVID-19
Share best practices and lessons learned in the maintenance of essential health services in the context of the COVID-19 Response.
With emerging examples around the world of governments responding and continuously adapting their measures to ease the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the aim of the webinar was to contribute to the global exchange of experiences to increase the understanding of challenges and solutions, improve effectiveness of cross-disciplinary responses, and promote country-to-country learning and cooperation amongst countries, including through South-South and triangular cooperation.
Takeaway points from the interventions: (i) health systems need to be able to respond to the pandemic, and reconfigure/reorganize so as to be able to ensure the provision of all essential health services; (ii) It's not just an issue of coverage, ensuring the inputs necessary for health systems, it's really about breaking down the access barriers to health and removing issues associated with financial, geographical, cultural barriers, so that we reach all the populations that we need to reach in terms of essential health services; (iii) primary health care is an important strategy, that should have a strong resolutive capacity at the first level of care that meets the needs of populations; (iv) health financing, in a sustained global financial recession, needs to be protected and increased, otherwise we would have not learned the lesson from this pandemic.
The event was moderated by Dr. James Fitzgerald, Director of Health Systems and Services, PAHO/WHO, and featured presentations from:
- Dr. Choe Young June, MD, PhD, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea
- Dr. Robin Nandy, Principal Advisor & Chief of Immunizations, UNICEF
- Dr. Yu Wenzhou, National Immunization Center of China, Center for Disease Control, People’s Republic of China