UHC Engage supports local civil society organizations with the tools they need to advocate for the prioritization of sexual and reproductive health and rights in country-level universal health coverage policy reforms.
PAI is committed to ensuring that country-level universal health coverage (UHC) policies advance access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Through technical policy analysis, advocacy capacity strengthening and cross-partner exchange platforms, UHC Engage supports civil society organizations in countries introducing UHC policy reforms to engage with their governments and advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights as a priority. Together, we are working for a future where women and girls can access rights-based and quality-assured sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning, by capitalizing on the opportunity afforded by UHC reforms.
In January 2020, following UHC Engage advocacy, Zambia unveiled the first UHC financing reform in the region to include family planning.
Inspired by the sustainable development goals, governments around the world are revitalizing their health systems to achieve UHC. As they look to the 2030 target, governments in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are introducing major health policy reforms to ensure people have access to the quality health care they need, spanning preventive through palliative care. These reforms are also designed to balance access to services with financial protection to ensure people are not pushed into poverty by realizing their right to health care — the real promise of UHC. In service to this goal, countries are rapidly introducing health financing policy reforms, with health insurance as the critical first step.
In this unprecedented wave of policy reform, PAI recognizes the opportunity to ensure that emerging UHC policies are rights-based; increase the availability, affordability, acceptability and quality of sexual and reproductive health services and commodities; and bolster sustainable domestic financing for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning. UHC Engage was born out of a need to support civil society partners at the country level with analysis, advocacy strategizing and peer-to-peer exchange — where no such platform previously existed. Put together, these pillars are the foundation of our partners’ pioneering sexual and reproductive health and rights and UHC advocacy efforts in Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, India and Ethiopia.
Together with our civil society partners, UHC Engage first targets UHC financing reforms to increase women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services. However, we know that achieving UHC and ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health and rights requires major policy and programmatic changes across complementary parts of a country’s health system. Realizing our vision also requires the long-term and multifaceted commitment from advocates, donors and key decision-makers and tailored action as each country leads its own unique approach. With this first-of-its-kind platform, UHC Engage and our partners are committed to universal sexual and reproductive health and rights.
For us, UHC means all people in Ghana should have timely access to high quality of service irrespective of ability to pay at the time of care.Stephen Duku, health financing specialist, MSIG