April is here, and that means it’s time to celebrate World Health Day. The awareness day, which falls on April 7 every year, brings much needed attention to global health issues. This year’s World Health Day highlights the importance of universal health coverage.
The World Health Organization says universal health coverage is about ensuring all people get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship. It is not only about providing medical care to individuals, but services meant to benefit everyone, such as clean drinking water. Unfortunately, at least half of the world’s population is currently unable to obtain or benefit from essential health services.
United Ways understand that good health makes it easier to concentrate in school and be successful at work. We believe that providing access to quality health services and health insurance; creating healthy communities; increasing physical activity and access to healthy food; and ensuring that children and families get off to a healthy start, are essential for helping people reach that goal. From helping individuals navigate health insurance enrollment in Anchorage, Alaska, to providing girls with access to feminine hygiene products in South Africa and addressing childhood malnutrition in Mumbai, United Ways are addressing universal health coverage in their communities.
Every year, 100 million people are pushed into poverty, leading to poor health in a lot of cases. Some of these individuals are in your own backyard. This World Health Day, make a mark by reaching out to your local United Way to discover how you can increase universal health coverage locally. You can also:
- Volunteer at your local medical clinic, community garden or any location that is providing health resources in your neighborhood; your time and services could benefit countless people
- Share stories via social media about your healthy community; be sure to use #HealthForAll
- Talk to community leaders about the health needs in your community; they can provide more information about how your community is investing in the health of its residents
However you decide to celebrate World Health Day this year, you won’t be alone—United Way is fighting alongside you to give every person, in every community, the quality health they deserve.