April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.

Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.

Universal health coverage: everyone, everywhere

Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community.

Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world.

But millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.  

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This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April. 

In his message on the World Health Day the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, noted, that "half the world’s population is still unable to obtain the essential health services they need.  Universal Health Coverage is about changing this and ensuring equitable access to health services for all, without people experiencing financial hardship as a result."

Antonio Guterres believes that the solution to the problem is ensuring universal access to health services. "And it is not just about improving health services. It is about policies and action across many sectors. We need to address the broader determinants of health, including social, economic and environmental factors".\

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Get to know the main theses for the World Health Day 2019 following this link. 

On April 3, a press conference "World Health Day-2019" was held at the National press-center of the Republic of Belarus. It was attended by the UN resident coordinator in Belarus, Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, head of the WHO country office in the Republic of Belarus, Batyr Berdyklychev, chief freelance specialist of the Ministry of health of the Republic of Belarus in providing medical care to patients with HIV, Oleg Skripko and Head of the Department of public health and healthcare of the Belarusian medical Academy of postgraduate education, Marina Shchaveleva.

About 70-80% of all health-care needs of the population can be addressed at the primary health-care level. According to Batyr Berdyklychev, it may be the issue of primary prevention, treatment, management of chronic disease, rehabilitation, palliative care and health promotion in general.

Countries in the  European region have achieved good results in ensuring access to health care. However, there are groups that still require special attention – the unemployed, the poor and the elderly.

WHO appreciates the transition to the system of general practitioners in Belarus. This step significantly expands the range of services received at the initial treatment of citizens. Special attention in the field of healthcare also require non-medical issues – patient awareness, confidentiality in the treatment process, long queues in medical institutions.

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