Inclusive health systems

Everybody should have access to the health services they need. Who you are, where you live, and how much money you have, should not play a role. This is called universal health coverage. To realize this, we need strong and resilient health systems that prevent and treat disease and illness, and help to improve our well-being and quality of life. Strong health systems are also a prerequisite for realizing our sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The reality in many low- and middle-income countries, however, is different. There is a shortage of healthcare personnel and affordable medicines. And for many people, clinics are too expensive, too far away or inadequately equipped to treat the most urgent health conditions. And for people with multiple vulnerabilities – for example, a girl with a disability, living in poverty – it is extra difficult to get the health services they need. 

Achieving universal health coverage is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (target 3.8). It includes financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. All UN Member States have committed to eradicate poverty, end discrimination and exclusion, and reduce the inequalities and vulnerabilities that leave people behind. These ambitions are at the core of our advocacy. By applying a so-called intersectional lens, we gain insights in how people’s vulnerabilities prevent them from living their lives as healthily as possible. This helps us to develop solutions that are inclusive and truly leave no one behind.

“Growing up in rural Kenya, I realized that the system was broken; it marginalized poor rural people and afforded the best care to rich urban people.”
Elizabeth Warindi, member of the Make Way regional & global youth panel, Kenya

Video on sustainable finance

Our video ‘Sustainable finance for health systems‘, explains the importance of financing health systems, for example to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

Wemos is the lead organization of Make Way, an international partnership focused on improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of the most minoritized people in society. Together with our partners, we develop innovative tools to identify people’s overlapping vulnerabilities, allowing us to better understand how these affect their SRHR. In doing so, we sharpen our own lobby & advocacy and that of other civil society organizations.

Make Way consists of Akina Mama wa Africa, Forum for African Women Educationalists, Liliane Foundation, The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians Kenya, VSO Netherlands, and Wemos. We work in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implement the programme in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, eastern and southern Africa, and at global level.

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