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International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020 – December 12

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International Universal Health Coverage DayThe United Nations(UN)’s International Universal Health Coverage Day(UHCDAY) is annually observed across the globe on 12th December to raise awareness about the need for a strong and resilient health system and universal health coverage with multi stakeholder partners.

The day also marks the anniversary of the UN’s endorsement of Universal health coverage in 2012.

The theme of International UHCDAY 2020 is Health for All: Protect Everyone, the theme focuses on the need to invest in health system to end the crisis and build a safer and healthier future.


i.The United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution A/RES/72/138 on 12th December 2017 and proclaimed the 12th december of every year as the International Universal Health Coverage Day.

ii.The International Universal Health Coverage Day was first observed on 12th December 2018.

Events 2020:

i.At the events for the observance of UHCDAY 2020, WHO has launched a new Primary Health Care (PHC) Special Programme and the new UHC Compendium of Health Interventions.

ii.The 2020 UHDC campaign will culminate in a 24 hour virtual rally on 12th december 2020 with #ProtectEveryone.

2020 Events in India:

Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) chaired the event organised to celebrate the International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020.

Key People:

i.Roderico Orfin, WHO representative participated in the event along with other WHO officials. 

ii.Ashiwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State of MoHFW, Vandana Gurnani, Additional Secretary and Mission Director, National Health Mission(NHM), Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Vishal Chouhan, joint Secretary, Ratna Anjan Jena, Director General,Statistics and other senior officials participated in the event over a virtual platform.

5th National Family Health Survey(NFHS)

i.Union Minister Harsh Vardhan released the 5th National Family Health Survey(5-NFHS) which features the detailed information on population, health and nutrition for India and its states and Union Territories. 

ii.This data source since it is comparable to Demographic Health Surveys(DHS) Programme of other 90 countries on major indicators and can be used for cross country comparisons and developments indices.

Fact sheets for NFHS-5(2019-20) for 22 Phase-I States/ UTs:

i.The partial data of the survey shows improvement in supply of vaccines for childhood immunization.

ii.The phase I covered 17 States and 5 Union Territories(UTs) (Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Mizoram, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu).

iii.Phase II covering the remaining 12 states and 2 UTs had their fieldwork suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


i.Himachal Pradesh(HP) has recorded highest vaccination percentage in 2019-2020 with 89.3%.

ii.Gujarat had record the highest increase in vaccination % in (76.3) 2019-2020 compared to (50.4) 2014-2015 with +25.9 change.

Top 3 States in the List of percentage of Children fully vaccinated in 2019-2020:

State % VaccinatedChange compared to 2014-15
Himachal Pradesh89.3+19.8
West Bengal87.8+3.4


Top 3 UTs in the List of percentage of Children fully vaccinated in 2019-2020:

Union Territory(UR)% VaccinatedChange compared to 2014-15
Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu94.9+44.4
Jammu & Kashmir86.2+11.2


Launch of apps & guidelines to implement & monitor health programs:

i.He launched NCD Medical Officer App, an application to establish the missing links in the follow ups of the patients with non-communicable diseases and a SDG-3 Health Dashboard, to identify the priority areas that require action and in framing future action plans to achieve SDG by 2030.

ii.He also launched various guidelines for the implementing and monitoring various health programs, they are, 

  • A compendium of Health and Wellness Centers Operationalization
  • guidelines for Comprehensive Primary Health Care Services for Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT), Eye, Mental Neurological Substance-use (MNS) disorder
  • Jan Aarogya Samiti (JAS) Guidelines
  • e-Booklet on key information of ICT interventions by NHM

Note : He virtually commended 1153 primary healthcare workers for their outstanding service. These workers were nominated by the State.

Universal Health Coverage(UHC):

i.Universal health coverage means that all people have access to health services they need without financial hardship.

ii.UHC includes the complete range of essential health services from promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.

iii.The WHO identified achieving universal coverage as a strategic priority with an aim of 1 billion people supporting universal health coverage 2023.

iv.The requirements to achieve the goal of UHC

  • a strong, efficient, well-run health system;
  • a system for financing health services;
  • access to essential medicines and technologies;
  • a sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers.

UHC and SDG:

i.Around 50% of the total population of the world do not have access to essential health services.

ii.To achieve the SDG target 3.8 of Universal Health Coverage for all by 2030, Around 1 billion more people will need to enable access to  essential health services in every 5 years between 2015 to 2030

About World Health Organisation(WHO):
Director-general– Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland