African Health Monitor
Universal health coverage (UHC) aims to provide health care and financial protection to all people in a given country with three related objectives: equity in access – everyone who needs health services should get them, and not simply those who can pay for them; quality of health services – good enough to improve the health of those receiving the services; and financial-risk protection – ensuring that the cost of health care does not put people at risk of financial hardship. It is a powerful concept in public health, and one of the key areas of progress in health in the African Region.
This special issue of the African Health Monitor has a dual objective: firstly, it offers an overview of research on the subject of UHC in Africa; and secondly, it provides wider dissemination of research results presented and discussed in African scientific meetings. All the articles of this special issue originated from presentations made during the African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA) 3rd biennial scientific conference held in Nairobi in March 2014. Eleven of the 188 presentations made at the conference were selected by a joint team of WHO staff and AfHEA members and expanded into full papers for publication in the Monitor.
- The African Health Monitor is the magazine of the WHO Regional Office for Africa. Other WHO journals:
- Bulletin of the World Health Organization
- Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal
- Pan American Journal of Public Health
- WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
- Western Pacific Surveillance and Response
- Public Health Panorama
- Weekly Epidemiological Record
- WHO Drug Information
The strategic directions of WHO-AFRO are based on the recognition of the impact of key health determinants, and the need to address them in the African Region where health inequalities are prominent and access to quality health services is limited. This issue of the Monitor contains a number of papers describing the various facets of WHO’s work on these determinants.
The articles in this issue of the African Health Monitor deal with important issues in the African Region: children mortality from preventable and treatable diseases; maternal and newborn mortality, the highest in the world; malaria; cancer of the cervix, the commonest and leading cause of mortality among women in the African Region; and progress on the Millenium Development Goals. It would be useful reading for all health-workers and policymakers.
Health systems and primary health care in the African Region. A weak national health system can be viewed as an important contributor to poverty and inequity in the African Region. Persons who are in poor health less frequently move up and more frequently move down the social ladder than healthy persons.