WHO says universal coverage key to meeting global health goals

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WHO team assisting displaced people in Yemen. Photo: WHO Yemen

Some 400 million people worldwide do not have access to essential health services, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

To address this imbalance, the UN agency is encouraging governments to implement universal health coverage.

It says it's the best way to guarantee progress on new global health goals to be launched by world leaders meeting at the UN in September.

Dianne Penn reports.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said no one should risk financial ruin because they need health care.

A recent joint report from WHO and the World Bank Group found that six per cent of people in developing countries have been pushed into extreme poverty because of health-care spending.

However, WHO said many countries will need help in funding universal health schemes.

They will also have to ensure health system resources are used more efficiently.

An international conference on Financing for Development opens next week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At the conference WHO plans to call for more support to low- and middle-income countries seeking resources for their health systems.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 48″

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