The 2021 Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day’s theme was ‘Leaving no one’s health behind: Investing in health systems for all.’ This theme is relevant for countries worldwide, including Somalia, particularly after the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fragile health system in the country.
Somalia as a signatory to the UN SDGs is committed to attaining UHC for all its people to ensure equal access to quality services and improve social health protection. In 2018, the Federal Government of Somalia collaborated with the development partners in health to start the journey of rolling out UHC across the country. Currently, plans are underway to implement a set of prioritized essential package of health services across the country using domestic and external resources, through the primary health care (PHC) approach. This means offering comprehensive, integrated levels of care and services that respond to the health needs of all the people, with a functioning referral system across all levels of care, in order to ensure that vulnerable families are not pushed into poverty because of out-of-pocket expenditure.
Acknowledging Somalia’s efforts toward UHC, Dr. Mamunur Rahman Malik, a WHO Representative to Somalia made the following remark
The dream of UHC is achievable, even in fragile settings, the concept of universal health coverage provides a unifying language that brings together social justice, and health equity through basic service provision and can be an opportunity in fragile contexts as the country slowly and gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. If we are to prevent future pandemics and achieve health and well-being for all by 2030, we must prioritize equity – invest more in health and allocate resources efficiently and equitably according to the need of everyone, everywhere.
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