Focusing on Local community Involvement, Coordinated Financing and Strengthened Digital Platforms for Sustainable Universal Health Coverage

Universal health coverage (UHC) ensures that all people have access to health services when and where needed without financial hardship. The delivery of these services is anchored on 3 pillars: service delivery, health financing and population coverage. Achieving UHC is one of the world nations’ targets set when adopting the SDGs in 2015. The UHC pursuit by countries is critical to improve equity in health services, provide quality services and financial protection for their populations. Health financing policy is an integral part of efforts towards UHC, aligned to the pursuit of UHC and health system reforms that need to improve coverage. In Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), 27 out of 48 countries are affected by direct out-of-pocket payments (OOPs) for healthcare services that are greater than 30%. Protecting populations from the negative financial consequences of paying for health services out of their own pockets reduces the risk of impoverishment resulting from use of life savings, sale of assets and unsustainable borrowing resulting in families being trapped in vicious cycles of poverty. UHC includes the full spectrum of essential quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care across the life course. In Africa, innovative strategies such as digital health platforms are needed for attainment of the ambitious UHC.