Universal Health Coverage: A Commitment to Close the Gap

Universal Health Coverage: A Commitment to Close the Gap

Support for universal health coverage — ensuring "that all people obtain the health services they need, of good quality, without suffering financial hardship when paying for them" — as a way to reduce child mortality is growing, a report from the , , , and the argues. The report, (84 pages, PDF), suggests that efforts to address inequities in essential maternal and child health interventions could prevent the deaths of 1.8 million children and 100,000 mothers worldwide — reducing child and maternal mortality rates by 20 percent and 33 percent, respectively. The report also found that while child mortality rates globally have fallen, many countries have seen widening gaps in survival rates between their richest and poorest populations. In order to benefit poor and vulnerable populations, the report argues that health system reform in low- and middle-income countries should pool and redistribute resources with an eye to closing those gaps, coordinate reforms to ensure delivery of quality care across the entire population, and use disaggregated data to inform the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of system-wide reforms.