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Celebrate World Health Day – April 7, 2018

world health dayAccess to healthcare services is essential for everyone, but for many, proper care can feel out of reach due to lack of resources or financial reasons. This year, on April 7th, we celebrate World Health Day with the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.”

The unfortunate reality in our world today is that, according to the World Health Organization, “at least half of the world’s people is currently unable to obtain essential health services.” Even for those with access, the high out-of-pocket costs can lead to extreme poverty. There are almost 100 million people forced to live on $1.90 or less per day due to the high costs. Over 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health, even in richer countries with accessible care such as Europe, Latin America and Asia. These large expenses just to stay healthy are a global problem and without change, will continue to grow.

When advocating for universal health care, it is important to note that this does not mean free coverage for every health situation as the costs for such a program are not sustainable. Providing health care for everyone ensures that, regardless of a person’s financial situation, they can access the treatment or services they need through a healthcare package based on resources available. The goal is to not only provide individuals the care they need, but to also provide services to the community, such as adding fluoride to water or controlling mosquito populations that can carry diseases.

On this year’s World Health Day, you can help by spreading the word about the importance of universal health coverage. Change cannot happen without awareness, so having honest conversations with others can bring demand for better health services to the community, help protect the welfare of those in the workforce, and more.

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