Integration of Family Planning in the Universal Health Coverage Agenda
January 31, 2024
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By Salman Khalid, Communications Manager, FP2030 Asia and Pacific Regional Hub
On Universal Health Coverage Day, the Asia and Pacific Regional Hub hosted a Cross-Regional Exchange and Learning Series, marking a pivotal moment in our collective pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The webinar, focused on the integration of Family Planning in the UHC Agenda, brought together key stakeholders, experts, and advocates. Gratitude was extended to our partners—FP2030, MSH, PAI, and Knowledge SUCCESS—for their collaboration, expertise, and unwavering dedication.
The webinar aimed to foster dialogue, share innovative practices, and delve into critical areas such as financing, policy reforms, and multi-sectoral partnerships. The focus was on exchanging experiences, learning from each other, and understanding the integration of family planning into national UHC strategies. Notable panelists included Sumita Banjeree, FP2030 Asia and the Pacific Hub; Dr. Rajat Khosla, United Nations University – International Institute of Global Health; Preeti Sakya, MPH Candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, speakers from the private sector, as well as government representatives from Thailand and Nepal.
As discussions unfolded, the recent Universal Health Coverage Report by WHO underscored the urgent need for action. The world is off track to achieve significant progress towards UHC by 2030, with health service coverage stagnating since 2015. Catastrophic levels of out-of-pocket health spending affecting 2 billion people globally further emphasized the pressing nature of our mission.
UHC signifies access to quality health services without financial hardship, while family planning is rooted in health, rights, choices, equity, and empowerment. The stagnation in service coverage and rising health spending highlight the urgency of integrating family planning into UHC. This integration is not only a health imperative but a matter of human rights and equitable access.
The webinar concluded with a call to recognize the profound impact of collective efforts. Achieving UHC with comprehensive family planning services is not just a goal but a transformative journey requiring commitment, innovation, collaboration, and a shared vision for a healthier, more equitable world. Participants were thanked for their dedication and urged to work collectively to shape a future where family planning is integral to Universal Health Coverage, accessible to all.