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International Partnerships

UHC Partnership: Building stronger health systems for better pandemic preparedness and universal health coverage in South Africa

The COVID-19 response requires scaling up urgent multisectoral actions, at the center of which should be robust containment measures while preparing for surge capacity. It is critical to ramp up testing, treat and isolate those who are infected while quickly tracing the contacts for appropriate measures.

Dr Owen Kaluwa, WHO Representative to South Africa
Dr Zweli Lawrence Mkhize Minister of Health South Africa

Background on the Universal Health Coverage Partnership

At least half of the world’s population does not have access to the health services they need, about 100 million people fall into extreme poverty each year because of excessive health spending and over 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household income on healthcare.

The UHC Partnership is committed to ensure that all countries attain universal health coverage and that people have access to promotive, preventive, curative, and rehabilitative health services of quality, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. It aims to help achieve the global goal of reaching one billion more people benefitting from universal health coverage by 2023.

With the financial support of the European Union, the UHC-P promotes universal health coverage by reinforcing country capacity and leadership to build resilient, effective and sustainable health systems.

The UHC Partnership dates back to 2011 and covers 115 countries. It has been expanding its technical work to include a special focus on health security since 2019, while maintaining efforts in favour of health systems strengthening and universal health coverage. Health policy advisors work closely together with national Ministries of Health, WHO country offices and partner delegations behind the UHC Partnership. Furthermore, these key stakeholders receive support by a large number of health experts from WHO regional offices and Headquarters as well as from the offices of the European Union, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and IrishAid. The European Union, Luxembourg, Belgium, Ireland, France, the United Kingdom and Japan fund the UHC Partnership.