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Cordaid NL

Global Health: urgent yet ignored

Cordaid’s Global Health, Global Access programme, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, deploys strong lobby and advocacy. Its aim is to ensure the Netherlands’ acknowledgement and action on global health. And to bring back the attention global health deserves.

Global health

Health is bigger than ‘health’ – health is global

Global health is a juncture showing how health is connected across the world – across different themes and areas of our society.

Health is a human right

Having equal access to quality healthcare is a basic human right. Yet, for many, the reality is healthcare is either too far away or too expensive. Many are even denied access to health services because of their gender, age or ethnicity. In other cases, the quality of available healthcare is too poor to serve the purpose.

Good health is a prerequisite to development

At the same time, health is a prerequisite to prosperity. People who do not have access to healthcare are stuck in a vicious circle of poverty and poor health, which can also lead to social instability and migration.

Universal Health Coverage: an urgency!

Health goes beyond borders. In our globalised world and with the increasing number of infectious diseases spreading, like COVID-19, we are learning that the hard way.

It is crucial to consider health globally and universally. And to work vigorously towards Universal Health Coverage and Health for All. Neglecting to do so, would be undermining the importance and influence of health in our societies.

What is UHC?

Watch this video that explains Universal Health Coverage and why it is important.

What is SDG3?

To expedite the process towards Universal Health Coverage, the United Nations identified Good Health and Wellbeing as one of Sustainable Development Goals. Watch this video about SDG3.

Why and how to invest in global health

Global health shows how health has global impacts. Therefore, the development sector and the donor community need to give more attention to improving healthcare in low-income countries. Investing in healthcare in these countries will contribute to improving economic development, social stability, and the health situation across the globe.

This has to be strategic and sustainable. Focusing on one particular health issue at a time may solve some problems partially; but not completely. The best way is to invest in building strong health systems. Where needed, we must also strengthen the existing health systems by integrating essential services like Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, vaccination and immunisation.

A properly functioning health system is like a constellation; it requires skilled healthcare professionals, quality equipment, accessible facilities, uninterrupted supply of quality medicine, the involvement of the community, and an affordable and accessible operation in place that sustains the flow of quality healthcare.

Additionally, it needs health management information systems, which are crucial for making informed decisions and effective, results-oriented health financing to enable all elements of a health system to function, with the principles of Universal Health Coverage at heart.

The outer circle of the system consists of strong healthcare policies, taking care of health workers, creating awareness about health rights, making sure people seek healthcare when needed, eliminating social barriers and superstitions about health and diseases, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, mental diseases and trauma from sexual violence.

Now the question is: how can we best invest in improving health systems to reach Universal Health Coverage? Investing through multilateral organisations in health care in low-income countries has proven to be an effective way to do so.

Global Health, Global Access brings back the attention global health deserves

Health has a huge impact on society and yet, it is often pushed into the dark corners of global agendas. While working to deliver healthcare in some of the most fragile countries in the world, Cordaid is also advocating, especially to the Dutch government, politicians and policymakers to divert their attention and increase investment in healthcare in low-income countries.

We constantly engage with the relevant people and entities to achieve this goal. Through the Dutch Global Health Alliance, Cordaid and other Dutch civil society organisations are putting their efforts together to reach and influence these target groups with relevant knowledge and recommendations.

The project is also closely connected to multilateral organisations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), and the Global Financing Facility (GFF). These organisations share their experience and strengths to showcase the effectiveness of coordinated investment in strong health systems.

Do you also care about global health?

As members of the United Nations, countries have already committed to manoeuvre towards Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 3 for Good Health and Wellbeing. As conscious citizens of the Netherlands, you can remind the Dutch Government to keep that promise. We are soon launching a petition to obtain this important goal. Keep an eye on our online channels for updates, spread the word and help your politicians to take the right step towards Health for All.