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World Health Day 2019: we need Universal Health Coverage!

8 April 2019

8 April 2019 // On Sunday 7 April, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrated the World Health Day 2019 (WHD), which this year was focused on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Despite being a key point of the UN Sustainable Developments Goals, UHC is still far from being implemented, and having access to high-quality, affordable and person-centered healthcare is still utopian in many countries. UHC is also the number one goal of WHO, which is committed to achieving universal healthcare that doesn’t discriminate anyone based on gender, age, disability, or geographical location.

On behalf of people living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (SBH), we highlight the importance of assistive and medical devices devices and products (such as wheelchairs, crutches, continence management products, etc.), which are also fundamental for the health and well-being of persons with disabilities, and should therefore be included in UHC too.

For this years World Health Day, IF decided to join forces with the European Patients’ Forum (EPF) and six other European patients organisations in calling for the implementation of Universal Health Coverage in the EU. We contributed to EPF’s World Health Day joint press release with a statement from our Secretary General Lieven Bauwens, on behalf of people living with SBH not only in Europe, but all around the world:

“For people with lifelong disabilities such as spina bifida and hydrocephalus, Universal Health Coverage – including access to quality and affordable assistive and medical products and devices – is key to reduce the risk of secondary health issues and premature death, to ensure inclusion in society, and to prevent families from falling into poverty”.

Read the full WHD press release by the European Patients’ Forum.